A hair salon owner in Melbourne’s St Kilda East has spoken of her shock and hurt after receiving a text message from a prospective employee refusing to work with her because she is Jewish.
After posting a job advertisement on Seek, the owner invited the applicant to meet with her at the salon, only to be told, “Hi [name withheld], thank you for the call this morning, however I’m going to have to cancel our appointment tomorrow, I wasn’t aware at the time you were Jewish and refuse to work with you.”
Speaking to The Australian Jewish News this week, the owner said, “I was in shock and felt deeply hurt,” after reading the applicant’s message. “Never having experienced antisemitism before and living in a sheltered, comfortable, safe environment I was transported to another era that shook me to my core,” the woman said.
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich, who was first approached by the victim, said the fact that this person “did not conceal her disdain of Jews is a microcosm of the problem of antisemitism that flows through Australian life every day”.
Stating, “The abhorrent sentiment about Jews revealed here is in line with other indicators of a widespread phenomenon of rising anti-Jewish sentiment in Australia,” Abramovich warned, “We have our work cut out for us, not only in confronting and calling out such unacceptable sentiments, but changing attitudes from an early age.”
He added, “These kinds of disturbing societal impulses have no place in our city, and I hope that type of repugnant behaviour is publicly condemned by all who read this story.”