Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

VAJEX Australia Category

VAJEX Australia Category (27)

Thursday, 12 August 2021 18:32

It's a Boy - Harvey Flynn

Written by

boy 02Dora (Klein-Gelbak) and
David Beaconsfield

together with big brother

welcome with love

Harvey Flynn
הלל אריה

Born 2nd August 2021

beaconsfield howardDelighted grandparents
Lara Gelbak
Sharon & Peter Beaconsfield

Dora ע"ה Ephraim ע"ה Gelbak
Norma & Howard ע"ה Beaconsfield
Carol Hammerman ע"ה & David Lapidos ע"ה

Named in memory of Howard who served in the Australian Army WWII in Port Moresby, New Guinea

Mazal tov to our member Norma Beaconsfield
Two great-grandchildren born on the same day!

Source: AJN

Thursday, 12 August 2021 18:21

It's A Boy - Noah Avraham

Written by

boy 01PROKUPETS (Schmidt)
David & Mandy

are thrilled to announce the birth
of their beautiful son

Noah Avraham
נח אברהם

Born 2 August 2021

Named in loving memory of
Alfred ע"ה Schmidt and
Abraham ע"ה Shtalman

Grandson of
Michael & Maria Prokupets,
Lynne & David ע"ה Schmidt

Great-grandson of
Sura ע"ה & Abraham ע"ה Shtalman
Lev ע"ה & Channa ע"ה Prokupets
Norma & Howard ע"ה Beaconsfield
Steffi ע"ה & Alfred ע"ה Schmidt

Mazal tov to our member Norma Beaconsfield
Two great-grandchildren born on the same day!

Source: AJN

Thursday, 12 August 2021 17:51

Germany Honours Garry Fabian

Written by

garry fabian VAJEX AustraliaVAJEX Australia Board member, Garry Fabian, has been honoured by the German Government with the prestigious Verdienstorden (Order of Merit) of the German Republic, recognising his service to the citizens of Baden-Wurtenberg over many years.

Baden-Wurtenberg's Secretary of State, Winifred Kretchmann, nominated Garry for "sharing his experiences and personal story and building bridges of understanding." Garry has visited Germany many times over the last 30 years, often speaking to schools, educators and community groups about his war experiences, particularly during his family's time in Theresienstadt Ghetto. Garry's memoir, A Look Back Over My Shoulder, was reprinted in 2014, the same year he received the Gold Staufer Medal for his educational services to the state.

The German Embassy in Canberra will facilitate the award presentation.

Source: St Kilda Hebrew Congregation's newsletter

Click link below to view the Federal Liberal Member for Goldstein:
Speech in Parliament by Tim Wilson MP

Monday, 09 August 2021 10:26

It's a Girl - Sage Lilo

Written by

Mazal tov on the birth of a daughterAimee and Ricky

are thrilled to annouce the
birth of their gorgeous baby girl

Sage Lilo

on the 20th of July, 2021

Granddaughter of
Sara ז"ל and Chaim ז"ל Chrapot
Muriel ז"ל and Gunner Lewis
Tessa and Jack ז"ל Sharp
Lilo ז"ל and Herbert ז"ל Cahn

Mazal tov to our member Gunner Lewis

Source: AJN

Monday, 09 August 2021 10:02

Bar Mitzvah - Toby Asha Gelbart

Written by

Bar Mitzvah mazal tov to Toby Asha GelbartMazal tov to

Toby Asha Gelbart

on his bar mitzvah
7 August 2021

Belinda, Dave,
Aiden, Joel & Jade

are so proud and excited.

As are Toby's loving grandparents
Ian & Rita Gelbart | Mike and Eve Brown.

Mazal tov to our member Mike Brown.

Source: AJN

Thursday, 22 July 2021 15:25

It's A Girl - Maddison

Written by

mazal tov girlJamie Hymams (née First) and Jason Hymans

are delighted to announce the arrival of their daughter

Maddison עליזה

on 22nd June, 2021
Maddie's grandparents, Nadine and Alex First, and Karen and Ian Hymans,
together with her great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins
share the happiness and excitement of the occasion.

Mazal tov to our members Jason Hymans, Karen and Ian Hymans

Source: AJN

Sunday, 11 July 2021 09:54

Leon Bloom RAAF WWII

Written by

VAJEX Australia member Leon Bloom with his wife Marjorie and daughter Judith.Taking tea with Leon Bloom, his wife of 72 years Margorie (née Loebascher) and daughter Judith at their lovely family home they built together as a young couple, was a warm family experience. The sideboard behind Leon is covered in framed family photos, and facing him at the other end of their sunny dining room table is the large TV for family Zoom meetings.

As Leon had recently been interviewed on Zoom by his London grandchildren about his past, the answers to our questions were ready and fast.

Leon, who was born in Footscray, was studying Engineering when he decided to enlist. He wanted to enlist because he considered Australia was doing badly in the war and he wanted to help. It was 1942 and his employer rejected his application. Determined to help Australia’s war effort, Leon also met fierce opposition from his mother. She was British and had been through a war already in the UK, so she wasn’t happy about Leon’s enlistment. She knew that once he flew out, she would not know where he was or what he was doing. Leon was living at home with his mother at the time of his enlistment; his father had passed a few months before.

Leon finally attested in 1943, joining the RAAF - 1 Airfield Construction Squadron (ACS). This Squadron was deployed to build new airports and prepare airstrips as the Army left, so the RAAF could land. Training had been very quick and he picked the RAAF as he believed there were more opportunities to progress through the ranks. They had to ‘clean up’ as the Japanese had been bombing Darwin. Later, more airports had to be built on Morotai Island, Indonesia and Borneo.

VAJEX Australia member Leon Bloom in RAAF uniformCorrespondence was censored as their manoeuvres were confidential. Leon received a letter from home approximately once per month and would write back - again all mail was censored and much of the letter he wrote was blacked out by the Censor. He missed his family and friends.

Concerned that his mother should know he was in Borneo, he devised a code. He had an Aunty Minnie whose partner had such fuzzy hair that he was teased as ‘the wild man of Borneo’. His grandma received Leon’s letter asking after Aunty Minnie’s partner. And so they knew.

In Borneo their commander was a rather inexperienced SGT Burke. They could easily influence him, so he and a friend could take ‘unofficial leave’ to see the town, but they were caught by the Second in Command. Lasting friends were made when in the RAAF. Serving alongside Leon was the Tasmanian Government Surveyor. All deployments were the same, after the infantry cleared an area from the Japanese, they would go in and construct airstrips to allow fighter and bomber aircraft to land.

Leon’s time in the RAAF made him more disciplined and organised to allow him to progress better in civilian life. He learned that he could cope with all of the day to day issues of life. One of his greatest wishes is peace and a good life for all. It was difficult to live away from his family and to exist and fight day by day, not
knowing if this will be the last day of his life.

Leon was awarded:
1. 1939-1945 Star
2. Pacific Star
3. Defence Medal
4. War Medal
5. Australia Service Medal 1939 - 1945
6. Australia Service Medal SW Pacific 1945 - 1976

Discharged at the end of the war, Leon returned with enough engineering experience to become an engineer at Port Melbourne City Council and he continued studying at Swinburne’s night school. It took him a couple of years to settle down again.

Attending a singles function at Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, in Toorak, he met his future wife. Margorie’s father, David, was an engineer and so took Leon into his business. The couple has since been active members at Temple Beth Israel.

Thursday, 10 June 2021 15:45

New Victorian Jewish Memorial

Written by

Judy Landau with New Victorian Jewish WW1 and WW2 MemorialAn 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.

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.


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!

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 19:27

Helen and Ian Tuszynski welcome another granddaughter

Written by

We were delighted to read in the AJN of the birth of Georgia Pia Tuszynski on 29 April 2021.

Another grand child for Helen and Ian Tuszynski.

Ian has been a member since 2002 and served in the Australian Army, Monash University Regiment.

We wish all the family Mazal tov and may she be healthy and happy, bringing Nachas and joy into your lives.

Tuesday, 08 June 2021 19:07

2021 David Brykman elected President of Mizrachi

Written by

Mazal tov to our cantor, David Brykman,

on being elected as Mizrachi's new President.

David has been a member and has participated in our services since 2015 and is very popular. He will be taking part in our 2021 Remembrance Service so please come along and support us and hear his fabulous voice! 

For details of the 2021 Remembrance Service: 

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