Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

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Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia

(VAJEX Australia)

Caring for Jewish military personnel from Allied Forces and their families

To foster a spirit of loyalty to the Queen, the British Commonwealth and the Commonwealth of Australia;
To perpetuate and honour the memory of all allied service personnel who served, including those who died during or since service;
To protect the interests and advance the welfare of all Jewish Ex-Service persons and their immediate family;
To officially represent the Jewish Ex-Service persons in all matters affecting the Association;
To subscribe to such local or other charity as the Board may deem fit;
To render such assistance to Jewish personnel serving the armed services of the Commonwealth of Australia or her allies as in the discretion of the Board shall seem to meet.

Remembrance

John Monash - VAJEX Australia Incorporated

John Monash (Monasch)  born in  Melbourne, Australia on 27 June 1865, the son of German Polish Jewish migrants, can be researched in any military history encyclopaedia or in fact by just ‘Googling’ his name on the internet. His history and list of achievements are long and far too many to detail in this brief summary. However, might I say that reading his history is well worth the effort and I can assure you that his deeds will amaze you. I have found that the deeds are better labelled on more than one man and in more than one lifetime.

Monash had many careers, and it could be said that he was outstanding in all that he chose. He was a scholar; he passed the matriculation examination when only 14 years of age, at 16 he was dux of Scotch College, Melbourne. He went on and graduated from the University of Melbourne, BA in 1887, and Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 1893, Law in 1895 and Doctor of Engineering in 1921. He practiced law and became a highly regarded engineer. It is to his credit that a number of Melbourne’s major bridges bear his name.

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Events

New Victorian Jewish Memorial

An announcement was made in the weeks leading up to the Centenary of ANZAC by Judy Landau, President of VAJEX Australia that a new Victorian Jewish WWI & WWII Memorial after the style of the historic memorial located at the Melbourne General Cemetery would be constructed locally. After an extensive two year process, Judy single-handedly sought letters of support, raised the funds, and obtained approval from the City of Port Phillip.

Judy Landau with New Victorian Jewish WW1 and WW2 Memorial

The original Victorian Jewish Memorial built in 1924 by the Chevra Kadisha contained the names of 79 WWI & 56 WWII servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Judy researched all the names for the new memorial and was shocked to find 18 WWI names and four WWII names were either:
• not Jewish
• had no known connection with Victoria
• didn’t exist; no casualty found

Additional names found during the research were added to the new memorial. 

The Memorial was unveiled within a week of the 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht and within days of the 97th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice of WWI. The unveiling and consecration was held on Sunday 15 November 2015 at 11am.

Donors

The Pratt Foundation
Department of Veterans’ Affairs through Melbourne Ports
Eva Besen AO & Marc Besen AC

The Gandel Group funded much of the World War II research. The project would have been significantly delayed without their generosity.

Thank you to all our donors!

Support

 

Military Ritual Provided at Funeral Services

Our Welfare Officer, Gary Ciddor or another representative, attend the funerals and consecrations of our ex-service members whenever possible. Families are contacted inviting them to have a Book of Remembrance page produced to honour the memory and service of the family member who passed away after their military service finished.

Support to serving Jewish ADF personnel

Our Chaplain, CAPT Rabbi Dovid Gutnick is on hand for pastoral work for serving members of the ADF offering guidance and assistance on Jewish matters. He regularly attends and participates in VAJEX Australia events.

soldiers-VAJEX Australia Incorporated

Guest Speakers

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  • MAJ John Boothroyd RFD ED (Ret’d)

    MAJ John Boothroyd RFD ED (Ret’d)

    Thank you for the privilege of being your speaker on this Day of Remembrance, which marks the 93rd Anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War and today is now known as Remembrance Day. On Monday the 11th of November l918 at 11.00 am or 1100 hrs for those who utilise military time, the guns on the Western Front fell silent for the first time in more than four years of continuous warfare. The...

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  • LTGEN Ken J Gillespie AC DSC CSM

    LTGEN Ken J Gillespie AC DSC CSM

    I thank Ben Hirsh and all VAJEX members for the opportunity to address you today at your 96th Anzac Day service. 1 And, in particular, may I also pass my respects to Felix and Yvonne Sher and their family. Australia’s Jewish community may be relatively small in numbers but you can rightly be proud of your contribution to defending Australia in war and peace. On the 19th of July last year, on the 94th anniversary of...

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  • Peter Fink

    Peter Fink

    During my address I will go backwards and forwards in time and hopefully inform and entertain you a little and if there is any snoring, please keep it down to a quiet snore. I grew up in Kew with a high percentage of the Fink Family, while others lived all over Australia. My father and his family were fortunate to be here before the Germans took over Poland. Along with my brother Ron, I attended Yeshivah...

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  • Geoff Burrows

    Geoff Burrows

    Remembrance Day Service Addres by Geoff Burrows
    Chair R&SL Kindred organisations I am proud, and extremely humbled, to be asked to address you today. Having attended these and other VAJEX functions over the years and having heard some extraordinary speakers. Today, we are gathered to commemorate Remembrance Day, the 11thof the 11th 1918. Our first purpose is to remember. Remember the dead, the wounded, and those in many ways affected by the Great War - the “War...

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  • Denis Baguley

    Denis Baguley

    ANZAC Commemoration Service
    Sunday 2 May 2010 Address by Denis Baguley,
    Chief Executive, Shrine of Remembrance President of VAJEX, Distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen, students, I am honoured to be invited to address the association’s Anzac commemorative service today as Chief Executive of the Shrine of Remembrance. I am pleased to acknowledge the ongoing role of the association which perpetuates and honours the memory of Jewish men and women in the armed services of Australia in the World...

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  • Roland Perry

    Roland Perry

    Remembrance Luncheon 2009
    Address by Roland Perry, Author The Australian Light Horse In case some of you are wondering what ‘Light Horse’ represents, it’s not midgets on a Shetland pony.  It’s a lightly armed (rifle and bayonet) mounted riflemen.  The Australians were never trained infantry. Most were horseman who were good shots, and could wield a bayonet, and later in the war, a sword. The British Cavalry, who fought alongside them, were trained soldiers who could...

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  • GP CAPT Norman Geschke OBE JP RAAF (Retd)

    GP CAPT Norman Geschke OBE JP RAAF (Retd)

    Remembrance Day Service
    November 2009 Address by GP Capt Norman Geschke obe jp raaf (Retd) It is an honour for me to be asked to address your 2009 Remembrance Day Service. I have visited a lot of War Cemeteries and Cenotaphs in Gallipoli, France, England, the Memorial at Runnymede and in the last few weeks, the Bitabaka War Cemetery at Rabaul. As always, I left very emotionally distressed. I cannot help but be upset, particularly when I...

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  • BRIG Graeme Standish AM RFD ED (Ret'd)

    BRIG Graeme Standish AM RFD ED (Ret'd)

    ANZAC Service 2009
    Address by
    BRIG Graeme Standish AM RFD ED (Ret'd) Brig Graeme Standish AM RFD ED (Retd)
    Melbourne Legacy President
    ANZAC Service
    Sunday, 26th April 2009
    Mr President - Ben Hirsh, Patron – General Rosenfeld, Distinguished Guests, including Mr and Mrs Sher, the partner of the late Greg Sher and members of the Sher Family, members of the Victorian Association of Jewish Service and Ex-servicemen and Women, members of the...

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  • Surgeon Commander Warren Kemp RFD RANR (Ret'd)

    Surgeon Commander Warren Kemp RFD RANR (Ret'd)

    Remembrance Day Service
    Sunday 16th November, 2008 Melbourne General Cemetery Address by Surgeon Commander Warren Kemp rfd ranr (Ret'd)   Mr President, Distinguished Guests and Representatives, Members of VAJEX. Thank you, President Ben Hirsh, for inviting me to this Remembrance Service, commemorating the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice, signed at 11am on 11th November 1918. Thus “The war to end all war” drew to a conclusion, but hardly resulted in a satisfactory solution for peace and stability in the world....

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  • Mr Barry Minster MA JP

    Mr Barry Minster MA JP

    Remembrance Day Luncheon 2008 Address by Mr Barry Minster MA JP   Thank you for inviting me today to attend your annual remembrance luncheon. I will try today to not tell the usual story of the ANZAC legend but rather try to enlighten you all on what it means to be a modern ANZAC. We are familiar with the creation of ANZAC at Gallipoli during the First World War but few of us ever give thought to the many...

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  • Capt D B Bergman RFD ED (Retd)

    Capt D B Bergman RFD ED (Retd)

    ANZAC Service 2008
    Address by Capt D B Bergman RFD ED (Retd)
    Australia’s Special Forces Mr Ben Hirsh, President of the Victorian Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, Association members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen and members of the younger generation. Thank you, Mr President, for inviting me to your Association and for allowing me to address you at this significant time, your ANZAC Day Commemoration. My address to you is about Australia’s Special Forces. The military...

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  • Mr Gary Edwards OStJ

    Mr Gary Edwards OStJ

    Address by Mr Gary L Edwards OStJ Remembrance Day Service 11 November 2007
    Melbourne General Cemetery

    Mr Chairman, Mr Murray Thompson, Group Captain Dunn representing our Defence Force, COL Alf Argent, President of Legacy, Men and Women of VAJEX. Good morning, Boker Tov, Dobre Utra, Dzien Dobry. We are gathered here today to give remembrance to those who made the supreme sacrifice whilst serving in the uniform of their country. Today in the shadows of this ancient...

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  • BRIG Michael Annett csc adc

    BRIG Michael Annett csc adc

    The Australian Light Horse and the Charge at Beersheba Address by BRIG Michael Annett CSC ADC
    Remembrance Day Luncheon 18th November 2007 The Australian Light Horse has a unique place within the wider ANZAC legend. The mounted regiments of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in the First World War became renowned for their hard-riding and courage in battle. Many considered them the military embodiment of the best characteristics of the Australian bushmen. But the light horse...

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Members Stories

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  • Sergeant Albert (Bill) Abromwich

    Sergeant Albert (Bill) Abromwich

    ...after 14 months on the island, I got friendly with the Adjutant. There was an opening  to  re-muster  for  PTI  –  Physical  Training  Instructor  –  which  suited  me  as  I  was interested in sports. Sent to Point Cook in Victoria, I became a PTI and then to Somers for nearly  six  months;  followed  by ...

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  • Mr Joseph Hayat

    Mr Joseph Hayat

    To the Memory of
    V395188 PTE
    Joseph Hayat
    16 Bn, Volunteer Defence Corps
    28th June 1942 ~ 1st Oct 1945
    Passed Away 10th August 2010
    Dedicated by  daughters
    Judy Marer & Shirley Randles

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  • Stephen Hirsh

    Stephen Hirsh

    I decided  to  face  this  sergeant and  asked  him  why  he  made  that remark.  His  answer  was  ‘physical’  and  I  retaliated by  knocking  him  unconscious.  Unknown to me, this fight was witnessed by my Company Officers and the late Chaplain Rabbi  L  M  Goldman.  No  mention  was  ever  made  of  this incident  and  the ...

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  • Zygmunt (Israel) Mos

    Zygmunt (Israel) Mos

    During  a  brief  train  stop  near  a  forest  on  this  journey,  my  friends  and  I  managed  to escape through a slightly opened door. I was then 16 years old as were my friends. It was from then on that my struggle for survival commenced...

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  • Henry Barclay

    Henry Barclay

    The Varied and Colourful Life of Henry Barclay (Z′′L)
    There are VAJEX members who can tell intriguing tales about their life and experiences, but very few can top the varied and unusual twists and turns of life compared to Henry Barclay. His optimistic and positive outlook on life is like a breath of fresh air,...

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  • Herbert Bloustein

    Herbert Bloustein

    Herbert Bloustein, who was born in Ballarat, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 19thAugust 1914, aged 21 years. He later served in Europe, where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. On 25thApril 1915, Herbert Bloustein landed on the shores of Gallipoli, Turkey with the 3rd Brigade. He sent a letter to his father in...

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  • Harold Karpin

    Harold Karpin

    A JEW IN NATIONAL SERVICE by Squadron Leader Harold Karpin, RAAF (Retd) Let me tell you about Mannie. Mannie was older than the rest of our National Service intake by at least seven years, having received a deferment until he had finished his University studies. He was as thin as a rake, with a jaw like Joe...

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