Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

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President's Message

Board Members

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  • Patron-In-Chief


    Patron-In-Chief Major General Jeffrey V Rosenfeld AC OBE KStJ 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 Committee...

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  • Patron


    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...

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  • President


    Harry Lubansky 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 Grants Manager he now uses his...

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  • Vice President

    Vice President

    Julie Leder
    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...

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  • JCCV Representative

    JCCV Representative

    Tony Aufgang's two of cousins served in World War Two and his brother did National Service during the early 1960s, attaining the rank of sergeant. Between 1955-1963, he was a member of Betar and became a youth leader for three years, serving on the Betar committee for one year. In 1963, while youth leader, he had...

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  • Education Portfolio Off Board

    Education Portfolio Off Board

    Basil emigated to Australia from South Africa with his family in 2000. He served with the South African Defence Force from 1967 - 1974 and was in Angola from January to April 1975. Basil served as articled clerk with an accountancy firm in South Africa for five years and worked in various retail and wholesale industries including lighting, steel, sewing machines, shop fitting, food distribution and baby stores. He was on a South African Synagogue committee in various roles for over 18 years. Basil enjoys running and cycling. He is married with three sons who are all married, and he has six grandchildren.

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  • Immediate Past President & Life Member Off Board

    Immediate Past President & Life Member Off Board

    Judy Landau 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 holders available.  Judy was a driving force in the revitalisation...

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  • Past President & Life Member Off Board

    Past President & Life Member Off Board

    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 in...

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  • Life Member Off Board

    Life Member Off Board

    Ruby served as Secretary on the Board for many years and her husband, Harry Grose obm, was president from 1973-1975. More recently, she assisted with the sorting of documents when VAJEX Australia was relocating to their new HQ. Ruby is a long-standing assistant with the Book of Remembrance Cememony every November, and has been an active member of the association for decades. She is an ex-service member having enlisted in the RAAF in November 1942 and served in 3 Embarkation Depot.

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  • Life Member Off Board

    Life Member Off Board

    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 posted...

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rabbi dovid gutnickDovid Gutnick is a born and bred Aussie Rabbi who is equally at home on the range as he is in the Synagogue. No matter your religious orientation his streetwise, down to earth approach will make you feel comfortable and spiritually enriched.  

Born in Sydney, Rabbi Dovid Gutnick studied at Yeshivah College in Melbourne before attending the Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand, Rabbinical College of Canada and Yeshivah Ohr Elchonon in Los Angeles. He received his s’micha (rabbinic ordination) at the Rabbinical College of America in New Jersey.

In 2007 Dovid became the Rabbi of the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation and remains in that position.

Like his Father and grandfather before him, Dovid is commissioned as an Army Chaplain in the ADF where he has served postings with MUR, 22CR and 5/6 RVR.

Dovid’s wife Rachel takes an active role in the community and together they have four wonderful sons.


by Walter Jona AM

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...

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vajex insignia sm

Read Heraldic Description of Insignia

Commemorative Stamp

At the VAJEX AGM on 6th March 2011,
Commemorative Stamp in Honour of our name change

the membership voted in favour of a name change to:
Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

First Amendment
The addition of an ampersand after “Ex” was to reflect that currently serving military personnel can be members and not just veterans.
Second Amendment
The addition of the word “Australia” was threefold.
1. Some of our serving personnel are posted around Australia and are not confined to Victoria
2. We have non-service members whose relatives are/were Victorians but they live interstate
3. Since the 20th December 2009 launch of our website, some confusion has arisen from international visitors to the website as to our location, because there is more than one Victoria in the world.


Judy Landau presents Jack Morgan with Certificate of Appreciation from VAJEXNew Headquarters
Education and Visitors Centre
Lamm Jewish Library of Australia
304 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield South

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?...

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Lamm Jewish Library of Australia

Besen Philanthropy

The Ryzman Family

Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation

Debbie Dadon

Henrietta Kaye AM

Dina Burgess

Peter Fuchs

Norma Beaconsfield

Maurice Smith

Ian Teague

John Cohen

Julius Hoffman

Paul Baxter

Sam Krycer

Israel Moss

Abe Braver

presentation to ryzman family

Presentation to the fabulous Ryzman Family who constantly assist VAJEX Australia. - Sunday 17 November 2013


Caring for Jewish military personnel from Allied Forces and their families

vajex logo



  • 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.

Read full constitution (Members only)

Amended 2 March 2014.

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