President: Marvin Bude
Hon Treasurer: Philip Burman
Assistant Treasurer: Natalie Wills
Secretary: Randi Grose
JCCV Representative: Garry Fabian
Researcher, Welfare, Past President & Life Member: Ben Hirsh
MC & Life Member: Julie Leder
Grants & IPP: Harry Lubansky
Life Member: Ian Mansfield
Major General Jeffrey V Rosenfeld AC OBE KStJ (Ret'd)
MB BS (Melb), MD (Monash), MS (Melb)
FRACS, FRCS (Ed), FACS, FRCS (Glasg) ad eundem, FACTM, MRACMA, RAAMC
Professor & Head, Department of Surgery, Central Clinical School, Monash University
Professor & Director, Department of Neurosurgery, Alfred Hospital and Monash University
Chair, Australian Defence Human Research Ethics...
Mr Jack Smorgon AO
Jack Smorgon was involved in the Smorgon Group of Companies from 1954 until 1995, mostly in the meat industry where he was Managing Director of the Meat Division from 1976-1991.
A Member of the Board of the Committee for Melbourne (CFM), he was appointed Chairman in 1995 and stepped down after 10...Read full story
On 11 July 1968, I enlisted in the Australian Army 3 Base Worksop (RAEME) as a craftsman and was honourably discharged on 27 February 1973, with the rank of Sergeant. My postings were at Bandiana, Puckapunyal and finally at Chapel Street, St Kilda Barracks.
To members who were rising through the ranks to attain...Read full story
My father was a Corporal with 4th Docks Operating Coy, Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) in New Guinea during World War II. He died on the 11th July 1945 in Wau, New Guinea and was buried in the Lae War Cemetery.
I am an accountant and was a partner in a medium sized accountancy practice...Read full story
As a qualified and Registered Bookkeeper and BAS Agent with my own Company for the last 11 years, I do auditing and bookkeeping for my clients. I am the daughter of an ex-service member of VAJEX Australia and it is my pleasure to assist the Hon Treasurer.
I am happily married and have two wonderful sons.
Randi Grose is the daughter of parents who both served during WWII. Her father Harry Grose was a signalman in the Army, while her mother Ruby (née Schoenheimer) served in the Air Force. Both became life members of VAJEX Australia following their arrival in Melbourne from Brisbane, where they had been foundation members...Read full story
My story spans two continents and a range of different places and life experiences.
I was born in Stuttgart, Germany, a country where my family lived from the beginnig of the 13th Century.
With the advent of the Third Reich in 1933, it became a place that progressively became more hostile and dangerous, and even life threateningly dangerous for those of the Jewish religion, as well as people whose outlook did not conform to the National Socialist concept of the ideal citizen.
In 1936 my family decided to emigrate to the Sudenten Land part of the Czech Republic to start a new life. However, this dream was short lived when the area was annexed to Germany in 1938. On 15th March 1939, we fled to Prague, the capital, which was occupied by Germany.
Read full story
Manny is the son and son-in-law of Holocaust survivors. He is the stepson of Henry Kingsley, a “Dunera Boy”, whose pre-war family was murdered by Nazis and others who joined and served in the Australian Army.
Manny, a former History Politics teacher and University Lecturer, has a PhD in History and Education from the University of Melbourne. He joined VAJEX Australia to support past and present Australian Jewish Servicemen and Women.Read full story
Ben Hirsh is a past President of VAJEX Australia was a Board member for over 20 years, serving as Secretary and Vice President.
Ben has assisted in locating graves and memorials of long-forgotten Jewish soldiers who died on active service in Australia, ensuring their commemoration both on our Wall of Remembrance and Memorial, and...Read full story
Judy Landau is a Past President who also served as Editor of PARADE magazine and InFormation newsletter and set up this website in 2009. She was Webmaster and Research Historian until 2018 and stepped in as the Secretary, Treasurer, PTE Greg Sher Shield awards manager and Grants Officer when there were no portfolio...Read full story
I have been a Musician, a Senior Constable in the Victoria Police and until a few years ago, a Sergeant in the Australian Army Reserve.
Joining the Army in 1977 means I was a member for 33 years. At that time there were no women permitted in the Band Corp (the first woman couldn’t...Read full story
Harold “Harry” Lubansky joined VAJEX Australia over 20 years ago as a service member, because of his family’s service heritage and recognition of the association’s goals of honouring and assisting the welfare of our serving and ex-service men and women. After 12 months on the Board as Grant’s Officer he is now Immediate...Read full story
Ian Mansfield joined VAJEX in 2003 and was Secretary from 2003-2013 and has served as Treasurer since August 2009.
After leaving Melbourne High School, he joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on 27th July 1981 as a Seaman SN (Stores). Ian completed Recruit Training at HMAS Cerberus on the 18th January 1982 and was...Read full story
Rabbi Ralph Genende is a well-known Modern Orthodox Rabbi with a passion for social justice and creating bridges between different cultures and faiths. For him the purpose of religion is to create a better society for all people and to engage with the critical issues facing Australian society. The role of the rabbi is, in his words, to challenge the comfortable and comfort the challenged.
Rabbi Genende is Senior Rabbi and Manager to Jewish Care Victoria, Melbourne’s largest Jewish organisation. He is Principal Rabbi to the Australian Defence Force, Member of the Religious Advisory Council to the Minister of Defence (RACS), board member of AIJAC (Australian Israel Jewish Affairs Council) and member of the Premier's Multifaith Advisory Group. He has served as President of Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA) and is a long-time executive member of the Rabbinical Association of Victoria. He is a member of Swinburne University’s Research Ethics Committee, of the Department of Health Ethics Committee and is a member of Glen Eira City Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan for recognition and integration of our First Peoples.
In 2018 Rabbi Genende was awarded an OAM for his services to multi-faith relations, and to the Jewish community of Victoria. He is a trained counsellor with a Masters degree from Auckland University.
Originally published in
The Journal of the Australian Jewish Historical Society Vol XII 1993 Part 1, pp170-178
The Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Inc, more familiarly known as VAJEX Australia, is much more than just another organisation in the Jewish community of Victoria. Its historic role and that of its predecessor associations distinguishes it from most of the other 150 plus organised Jewish groupings in Victoria, for it is the only Jewish organisation which singularly perpetuates and honours the memory of Jewish men and women in the Armed Services of Australia in the world wars and in all other conflicts in which Australia has been engaged.
In more recent years, VAJEX Australia has welcomed to its active membership large numbers of Allied servicemen and women of World War II, including many Jews from the former USSR now residing in Australia.
VAJEX Australia has vigorously and persistently endeavoured to ensure that succeeding generations should know of the Jewish record in Australia's wars. It is a record of immense pride. The statistics of Jewish war service in the armed forces of Australia reveal a remarkably disproportionate response from a tiny section of the general Australian community. The sacrifices of Jewish service personnel and the level of personal achievement of servicemen and women far exceed proportionately the comparative statistics for the rest of Australia.
Furthermore, the contribution made to Australia by the Jewish survivors of Australia's wars and the services rendered by them to the well-being of Australia and its citizens is as remarkable...
the membership voted in favour of a name change to:
Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated
On 18 July 2013 at 4.30pm, President Judy and VP Ben drove their cars through one of the worst storms in recent history to attend a meeting with Dr Danny Lamm. The purpose was to request room in the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia for VAJEX Australia to use as our Headquarters.
What had happened to our long-standing HQ at Avoca Avenue Elwood?...
Lamm Jewish Library of Australia
The Ryzman Family
Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation
Henrietta Kaye AM
Presentation to the fabulous Ryzman Family who constantly assist VAJEX Australia. - Sunday 17 November 2013
Read full constitution (Members only)
Amended 2 March 2014.