Dvir Abramovich

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Dvir Abramovich (Hebrew: דביר אברמוביץ‎, Russian: Двир Абрамович, born 1971) is an Israeli-Australian Jewish studies academic, columnist and editor. Abramovich is the chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission and director of the Program for Jewish Culture and Society at The University of Melbourne. Abramovich's areas of study take in Hebrew language, Israel and Holocaust studies.[1]

Early years[edit]

Abramovich attended Monash University where he earned his undergraduate degrees in Arts and Law. In 1995 he earned an MA in Jewish Studies and in 1999 a PhD from The University of Melbourne. He won the A.D Hallam Prize for excellence in Hebrew studies in 1992.


Abramovich began teaching Hebrew language and literature at The Centre for Jewish History and Culture. He was appointed Centre Director in 2006. He has taught a range of subjects including Hebrew language at various levels as well Introduction to Modern Jewish Culture, Israeli Film, A History of Israel, A History of the Arab Israeli conflict, "Jerusalem in Jewish Literature", "Reading the Holocaust" and "Israel: Conflicts and Culture". He has helped foster links between Israeli and Australian tertiary institutions.[2]

An area of interest are the works of Israeli author Amos Oz, Abramovich nominated Oz for an honorary Doctor of Letters which the writer was awarded at The University of Melbourne in August 2011.[3] Abramovich has also served as editor of the Australian Journal of Jewish Studies (from 2002 to 2010) and as President of the Australian Association for Jewish Studies.[4]

He has authored a number of books. He has been co-editor of the 2008 book Testifying to the Holocaust[5] and author of Back to the Future: Israeli Literature of the 1980s and 1990s,[6] as well as Hebrew Classics: A Journey Through Israel Timeless Prose and Poetry[7]


Abramovich has received criticism from a number of sources for his stances in various publications, such as the AJDS,[8] New Matilda,[9] and Galus Australis.[10] The main criticism is that he has become a mouthpiece for Israeli government positions and he is using his platform at the Anti-Defamation Commission to push back against anti-Zionist sentiment, rather than focusing on racism and bigotry.

Other activities[edit]

Abramovich has been a columnist at The Australian Jewish News since 2001, authoring the Counterpunch column.[11] He has also contributed opinion pieces for both Fairfax and News Ltd publications.[12]

Abramovich is notable within the Jewish community and at times has been asked to speak at communal events, such as the Melbourne Writers Festival, Melbourne Film Festival as well as being interviewed at times on ABC Radio.[13][14][15]

Abramovich is also the chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission,[16] whose purview is to fight all racism and hate,[17] although Abramovich has shifted the focus of the organisation to Antisemitism, Holocaust trivialization and Israel advocacy.[18][19]

Exploitation of the Holocaust[edit]

Abramovich has been a regularly speaks out against Holocaust trivialization and any perceived exploitation for ideological and artistic purposes.[20] He has criticized the tendency to use the Holocaust as material for Hollywood films,[21] and opposes the use of Holocaust imagery by artists and comedians.[22]

One of Abramovich's targets in preventing the use of Holocaust imagery are comedians, since he does not think the topic should ever be used in comedic settings

Abramovich took issue with a skit by John Safran on his 2009 show Race Relations in which the presenter made out in Anne Frank's attic with his supposed girlfriend Katherine Hicks, whom Safran described as a "A Blonde haired Aryan". Abramovich wrote that "Safran's exploitative approach drains the Holocaust of its tragic context (the death camps, the starvation, the shootings, the burning of bodies, the mounds of hair, shoes and glasses)".

Another comedic stunt by Safran that Abramovich reacted to was a mock-gassing of Holocaust denier David Irving. Abramovich saying "Why didn't anyone tell him (Safran)... that there was no humour to be mined from atrocity, that trivialising genocide for silly comic pay-off is inexcusable?"[23]

Abramovich's focus on the use of the Holocaust elicited this response in an Australian Jewish News column, posing the question "IS Dvir Abramovich kidding? The question popped into my head while reading his thunderous attack on John Safran. For a moment, I wondered if Abramovich’s case against the Melbourne comic was, in fact, a satire of an outraged columnist".[24]

Published works[edit]


  • Abramovich, Dvir (1995). Stereotypes and Myths : Gender Binarisms and Dominant Patriarchal Ideologies in the Fiction of Amos Oz (M.A. Thesis). Melbourne: University of Melbourne.
  • Abramovich, Dvir (2000). Bringing the Margins to the Centre : the Ethnic-Tribal Novel, Second Generation Holocaust Literature and Detective Fiction in the Contemporary Israeli Canon (Ph.D. Thesis). Melbourne: University of Melbourne.
  • Abramovich, Dvir (2011). Back to the Future : Israeli Literature of the 1980s and 1990s. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 9781443833387.
  • Abramovich, Dvir (2012). Hebrew Classics : A Journey Through Israel's Timeless Fiction and Poetry. Boston: Academic Studies Press. ISBN 9781618110756.
  • Abramovich, Dvir (2014). Flashpoints : Israel, Anti-semitism and the Holocaust. Ormond: Hybrid Publishers. ISBN 9781925000900.

Chapters and articles[edit]

  • Abramovich, Dvir (2003). "Beyond Right and Wrong There is a Field - I'll Meet You There: Reconciliation Efforts between Israelis and Palestinians". Arena Journal. 22: 83–97. ISSN 1320-6567.
  • Abramovich, Dvir (2005). "Overcoming the Cultural Barriers of Conflict: Dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims". Journal of Intercultural Studies. 26 (4): 293–313. ISSN 0725-6868.
  • Abramovich, Dvir (2007). "Eli Amir's Mafriah Hayonim". Modern Judaism. 27 (1): 1–19. ISSN 0276-1114.
  • Abramovich, Dvir (2007). "Messianic Jews in Australia: a clash or hybrid?". Australian Jewish Historical Society. 18 (4): 615–639. ISSN 0819-0615.
  • Abramovich, Dvir (2011). "Relationship Building in the Middle East among Adversaries: Israelis and Palestinians". In Anceschi, L.; Camilleri, J.; Palapathwala, R.; Wicking, Andrew (eds.). Religion and Ethics in a Globalizing World: Conflict, Dialogue, and Transformation. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 117–140. ISBN 978-1-349-28921-9.
  • Abramovich, Dvir (2011). "Jesus-Believing Jews in Australia: Celebrate Messiah as a Case Study". Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations. 4 (1).


  1. ^ Abramovich, Dvir (31 March 2008). "Slowly but surely, hearts are turning". The Age. Melbourne.
  2. ^ "University of Melbourne signs agreement with Hebrew University of Jerusalem : News : The University of Melbourne". Archive.uninews.unimelb.edu.au. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Honorary Degree for Amos Oz | MUSSE". Musse.unimelb.edu.au. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Dvir Abramovich elected to head Jewish Studies body : News : The University of Melbourne". Archive.uninews.unimelb.edu.au. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  5. ^ http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/4696058
  6. ^ "Home - Cambridge Scholars Publishing". C-s-p.org. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  7. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Hebrew-Classics-Journey-Through-Timeless/dp/1936235943
  8. ^ "Criticism of Israel by soldiers is not defamation - Australian Jewish Democratic Society". Australian Jewish Democratic Society. 3 July 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  9. ^ "The Age's Sordid Controversy: The Campaign Against A Palestinian Play - New Matilda". New Matilda. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Dvir Abramovich And Fascism: A Jewish Failure". Galus Australis. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  11. ^ http://www.jewishnews.net.au/bring-in-those-who-marry-out/20195
  12. ^ "Chutzpah - National Times". Melbourne: theage.com.au. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  13. ^ "The Diary of Anne Frank: what it means today - Saturday Extra - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ http://antonyloewenstein.com/?s=dvir
  16. ^ Davis, Rebecca (19 March 2020). "Standing together to fight hatred". The Australian Jewish News. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  17. ^ "ADC Mission - Anti Defamation Commission". Anti Defamation Commission. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Dvir Abramovich". Dvir Abramovich. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Criticism of Israel by soldiers is not defamation - Australian Jewish Democratic Society". Australian Jewish Democratic Society. 3 July 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Facebook Refuses To Take Down Holocaust Denial Site". Smh.com.au. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  21. ^ "Hollywood and the Holocaust". Melbourne: Theage.com.au. 2 November 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  22. ^ Abramovich, Dvir (1 March 2008). "Holocaust survivors are not laughing". The Age. Melbourne.
  23. ^ http://www.jewishnews.net.au/no-laughing-matter/10074
  24. ^ "http://www.polarisweb.com.au/clients/ajn/?p=10698[permanent dead link]