Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

New Victorian Jewish Memorial

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!

Memorial Unveiling & Consecration

Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Inc (VAJEX Australia)

NEW VICTORIAN JEWISH MEMORIAL

Unveiling & Consecration
Wreath Laying

Date: 15 November 2015
Time: 11.00 am


VAJEX Australia has announced that a locally situated WWI & WWII memorial will be unveiled and consecrated in November.

An announcement was made in the weeks leading up to the Centenary of ANZAC by Judy Landau, President VAJEX Australia. She stated that it gave her great delight to announce that VAJEX Australia (Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorported) has successfully raised the required funds to build a new Victorian Jewish Memorial after the style of the historic memorial located in the Jewish section of the Melbourne General Cemetery. After an extensive two year process, Judy has single-handedly sought letters of support, raised the funds, and obtained approval from the City of Port Phillip.

The original memorial built in 1924 by the Chevra Kadisha contains 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


The new memorial will have 87 WWI names & 71 WWII names due to more Victorian Jews being found during the course of the research. Patron-in-Chief MAJGEN Jeffrey Rosenfeld will unveil the memorial and Rabbi Ralph Genende will consecrate.

Following the unveiling and consecration, we will continue to the Caulfield RSL for the annual Book of Remembrance Reception.

VAJEX Australia is inviting families of our Jewish Victorian fallen from all conflicts to attend this event and bring a wreath/book/Siddur to lay in their memory. Books can be purchased from VAJEX Australia and a name plate will be put inside the cover with details of the event and your loved one’s name, when and where he fell. They will be donated to a Jewish day school of your choice.

For details contact 1300 824 000 or president@vajexaustralia.org.au

Major Donors

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

Research Sponsor

The Gandel Group

Thank you to all our donors!
Lest We Forget

For more details email secretary@vajexaustralia.org.au

True Jews & Patriots Exhibition

True Jews & Patriots Exhibition launch Jewish Museum Australia

JMA / VAJEX Australia - True Jews & Patriots Exhibition

 

In partnership with the Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia (VAJEX Australia), the Jewish Museum of Australia is proud to present True Jews and Patriots: Australian Jews and World War One, an eye-opening exhibition featuring intriguing untold stories of Australian Jewish experiences of the Great War.

As part of the Centenary of the First World War, this exhibition investigates the contributions and legacies of Jews who enlisted. It considers the social context that motivated their participation and the devastating impact of war on the Australian Jewish community, through the stories of people who were there.

The exhibition title, True Jews & Patriots, is a direct extract from the obituary of Captain Keith M. Levi, published in the Jewish Herald on Friday 27 August 1915. It documents that, “He went forth not to destroy, but to heal, and he fell whilst in the performance of the noblest duty that man can render unto his fellow — the mitigation of suffering. Like the true Jew and patriot that he was, he gave his all to his country. He sincerely echoed the loyal sentiments which are moving the hearts of all British Jews, especially to-day.”

Curator Deborah Rechter shines a light on the remarkable participation of nineteenth century Australian Jews in Australian civil society, exemplified by the career of Australia’s highest-ranking officer, Lieutenant General Sir John Monash. A polymath, engineer, civilian soldier and Australian-born son of Jewish migrants, Monash became one of the most celebrated Allied generals of the First World War. The courage and commitment of Monash and the Australian Jewish soldiers of all ranks are commemorated through first person accounts.

Deborah Rechter says: “Australian Jews went to war to secure the freedoms and democracy they found here. They wanted to participate fully in civil society and to secure these rights for their children. We hope visitors to True Jews and Patriots recognise the remarkable history and situation of Jews in Australia.”

The exhibition features a diverse range of original objects and artefacts, including Sir John Monash’s combat boots, Oswald Benjamin’s custom made uniform, Phyllis Slutzkin’s autograph book and Algie Sander’s photographs, which speak to different aspects of the Australian Jewish experience of the War.

Curator Deborah Rechter says: “In this exhibition we hope to make sense of the Jewish community’s experience of World War One for a contemporary audience. The display responds to material in the collection and uncovered through research. It is particularly focused on the unique implications of these events for the Australian Jewish community.”

Local school children are involved in the exhibition, researching the stories of this earlier generation and responding to their investigations in creative ways, which will form part of the display. This educational program is being created alongside the Victorian Association of Jewish Ex Servicemen and Women, who are developing a multi-media database of all Australian Jewish soldiers who served in World War One.

This timely exhibition emphasises the social history of the Great War and shows how Australia’s Jewish community has been shaped by these events. It challenges perceptions about the community and is relevant to a wider audience.

For more information go to: www.jewishmuseum.com.au

VAJEX Commemorative Service

Preceding the exhibition launch, a Centenary of Anzac commemoration service will be held titled

~ Birth of the Anzac Spirit ~

with keynote speaker

Senator The Hon Michael Ronaldson MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

For more details, email president@vajexaustralia.org.au

Centenary Of Anzac

Anzac CentenaryDate: Sunday, 26 April 2015, 10.30 hrs

View photo gallery

The City of Glen Eira ANZAC Ceremony

Caulfield Park Victoria

 

Sunday 19 April 2015 at 2.30 pm

VAJEX Australia is invited to attend.

Victoria Cross-SGT Issy Smith

victoria cross

 

SGT Issy Smith VC JP
Commemoration Service


11 November 2012, 10.30am


The world forgot him,
but VAJEX Australia didn’t!

Issy Smith VC has been a forgotten hero in Australia, and VAJEX Australia has now changed that. We arrange regular graveside visits to ensure that he will always be remembered as a hero of the Great War.

 

Read full story

 

 
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