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Our Ideologies

Who We Are

SKIF was founded in Eastern Europe as the youth organisation of the Jewish Labour Bund and provided Jewish children of the time with hours of enjoyment and with an enriched sense of their place in the world. SKIF established itself in Melbourne in 1950 and has continued this proud tradition for over 70 years.


SKIF, which stands for Sotsyalistisher Kinder Farband, translated to Socialist Children's Union, is a Jewish youth movement where kids, aged 8-18 can come and have fun with others their age while also learning about important current events and different aspects of their Jewish identity including exploring Yiddish as a language and culture. All of the activities run by the Helfer (leaders) are in line with SKIF’s ideologies. 


SKIF has weekly meetings on Sundays between 3 and 5 pm at Waks House, 281 Hawthorn Rd in Caulfield and runs THREE camps every year. SKIF also organizes other events throughout the year both Jewish (e.g. Purim party) and other events such as ice skating.


Winter camp (held during the winter school holidays) is for everyone, it is 3 nights long for juniors and 6 nights for seniors.

SKIF also runs a spring or autumn camp (it varies each year) for 3 nights just for seniors.

The biggest camp is summer camp which is held over the summer holidays for 14 nights for juniors and 17 nights for seniors.



Equality and Empathy (Democratic Socialism & Social Awareness)
SKIF’s democratic socialism is embodied in the ideological principle of ‘Chavershaft’, literally translated to friendship. 
At SKIF today, we uphold this ideal through stressing the value of co-operation, developing an awareness of the struggles faced by all the peoples of the world and expressing solidarity with oppressed people, whomever they be and wherever they may live.  While ‘Chavershaft’ forms part of SKIF's worldview, it works at a personal level as well to promote the qualities of empathy and respect for others, important character traits in any child growing up and into the wider world.

DOIKAYT דאָיקייַט

‘Doikayt’, translating to 'Here and Now' embodies our beliefs that Jews everywhere must work to link their struggles with others right here, right now.  ‘Doikayt’ upholds the ability and rights of Jewish people to build strong communities wherever in the world they live.  ‘Doikayt’ values each Jewish community equally and encourages all Jews, everywhere, to open their minds to the world around them, to view their Jewish identity within the context of their membership of humanity. 

YIDDISHKAYT ייִדישקייַט


The Jewish identity of SKIF clearly influences all of our ideological principles.  However, ‘Yiddishkayt’ isn’t merely a background to our activities; it is a principle in itself.  SKIF recognizes the shared heritage of the Jewish people and aims to increase awareness of Jewish history and secular involvement in traditional Jewish celebrations and activities.  Our events such as our Purim party, Third Seyder and Shabbes' are one way in which we work to foster Jewish culture in Melbourne.  The Jewish holocaust of World War II also provides a strong focus for examining our shared Jewish identity. In addition to an event during the year to commemorate the heroic Warsaw ghetto uprising, we give time on camp to engage in somber reflection of some of these darker moments of Jewish history.  In line with the roots of our movement, Yiddish culture and language figure prominently.  The richness of Yiddish culture provides an important link to our history and through song and stories we immerse ourselves in ‘Yiddishkayt’.  That said, a grasp of the Yiddish language is no prerequisite for attending SKIF.

THE HELFER  די העלפער

The leaders at SKIF, or as we call them, Helfer, are a group of young adults (18-21) who volunteer their time to make SKIF possible. All the helfer have completed a two-year training course, have up-to-date Level 2 first aid and CPR qualification and volunteering Working with Children Checks. Our organisation also has a Safeguarding Children Policy accredited by the Australian Childhood Foundation.



The falcon is known to be used by many socialist youth organisations including the International Falcon Movement, of which SKIF used to be a member organisation. Other youth organisations around the world such as the Rote Falken (Austria), SYB The Falcons Belarus, Faucons Rouges (Belgium), Rode Valken (Belgium), Georgian Falcons, Die Falken (Germany) and Rote Falken Zurich all use the falcon as their name/logo. There have been many reasons given for using the falcon as the symbol of socialist youth. Michael Gawenda, a former SKIFist and The Age editor, wrote about his recollection saying that he was told that the falcon was used because it flies into the wind which we as individuals and an organisation, too wanted to do, that is fly into the headwind of history. The falcon design has changed over the years but only with minor alterations each time.


It has also been said that the falcon is used as it is a symbol of freedom

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Git di hent zich shvester brider

Fener hoybt tsum himl hoych

S’trogn zich di frayhayts-lieder

Glaych tsum zunen licht aroyf


Zol zich undzer lid tzeklingen

Drayst un fray iber yedn land

Umetum vu brider zingen

Eynikt zey der frayhayts band

Fray zenen, fray zenen mir SKIFistn

Mir geynen hant bay hant

Mir viln royte fener trogn

Durch dem vaytn land, mir geyen


Mir geyen fest tsuzamen

Keyner loyft tsurik

Azoy veln mir oyfboyen

Undzer kinder republic

Link arms sisters and brothers

Raise your flags to the sky

The songs of freedom

Rise to the sky


Let our song ring true and

Free in all lands

Everywhere where children sing

They are linked by the freedom song

We SKIFistn are free

We walk hand in hand

We want to carry our red flags

Through the distant lands we travel


We march tightly together

No-one runs back

That’s how we’ll build

Our children’s republic



Click on the links below to look at our policies. If you wish to report anything, you may report it to:

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