OUR EVENTS ARCHIVE


2017 "Henryk Sławik Award" Presentation
Melbourne, Australia
Wednesday, 16th August 2017

The Henryk Sławik Award is presented in honour of the spirit of the life and deeds of Henryk Sławik, (saving over thirty thousand lives in occupied Hungary, five thousand of those being Jews). The Board of Management of the ASPJ has decided to honour individuals who, or organisations which, have worked towards enhancing mutual respect and understanding between the Polish and Jewish communities.

    
 
The recipients of the
2017 Henryk Sławik Award are:
 
Sue Hampel OAM (left)
and
Frances Prince (right).
    

Among her many activities, Sue Hampel OAM is Co-President of Melbourne's Jewish Holocaust Centre and an educator. Frances Prince is a long-time educator and is a member of the Executive of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, chairing its Multicultural & Interfaith Affairs Committee.
 
Both Sue and Frances have shown great commitment, working hard to establish the "Student March of the Living Australia" and, in particular, in preparing Australia's Jewish students for their trip to Poland.
 
In the beginning, there was little goodwill, and sometimes much opposition, to taking Jewish children to the place where so many of our people perished. Sue and Frances managed to convince our community of the importance of the March of the Living. They wanted to ensure that the students were not left with an attitude of hatred towards Poland and its people, that they know the facts - that the genocide of the Jews in Poland, was planned by the German occupiers, that there were no "Polish death camps", but "German death camps" on occupied Polish land.
 
They ensured that students were aware of the positive side of Polish-Jewish relations in Poland post the communist era, and that Jewish students met with Polish young people in order to establish a better understanding and better relations between them.
 
Sue Hampel befriended the late Irena Sandler and ensured that students were aware of the courageous Righteous Gentiles who saved many Jewish lives at risk of their own and that of their families. Both Sue and Frances insisted that the March Of The Living should be a journey of discovery and respect for the memory of the murdered families, as well as an opportunity for a deeper and more accurate understanding of history.
 

 
From left: Izy Marmur (Pres. ASPJ), Natalie Suleyman MP, Sue Hampel OAM, Frances Prince, Marian Pawlik OAM (Pres. PCCV)

This year's Awards were presented to Sue and Frances by Victorian State MP Natalie Suleyman and President of the Polish Community Council (PCCV) of Victoria Marian Pawlik OAM.
 
Guest speaker was Natalie Suleyman MP, representing the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Hon. Robin Scott MP. The topic of her keynote address was "Multiculturalism and Interfaith Dialogue in Victoria". Natalie is a member of the Victorian Parliamentary Friendship Group of Poland. Its establishment was instigated by the PCCV and the ASPJ. She was instrumental in the establishment of this group and is its co-convenor, together with Nick Wakeling MP.
 
The audience was treated to a short video on "Jewish Life in Today's Poland" followed by Klezmer music from David Krycer and Lionel Mrocki, two members of the Melbourne's well-known klezmer band "Klazmania"
 
The 2017 Award was presented in the presence of members of the diplomatic corps, a number parliamentarians, as well as many leaders of Victoria's Jewish and Polish communities including Piotr Buszta, (Deputy Head of Mission Counsellor Embassy of the Republic of Poland), Dr.George Łuk-Kozika (Honorary Polish Consul-General in Melbourne) and his wife Denise, Marsha Thompson MP (State Member for Footscray), Margaret Fitzherbert MLC (Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Women's Health and Rural and Regional Health), Jennifer Huppert (President Jewish Community Council of Victoria), Nina Bassett AM (Imm.Past Pres., Jewish Community Council of Victoria), Christopher Lancucki AM (Imm.Past Pres., Polish Community Council of Victoria), Andrzej Korab (President, Albion Polish Club), and Adam Warzel (President, Australian Institute of Polish Affairs).
 

 

Honouring the Polish Righteous Among the Nations
Sydney, Australia
Wednesday, 16th August 2017

Around 150 people from Sydney's Polish and Jewish communities filled the "Backyard Opera Gallery", in the Sydney suburb of Tempe, for the Official Opening of the POLIN Museum's exhibition "They Risked Their Lives - Poles Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust".
 
The event was co-hosted by the Polish Consulate-General in Sydney and the Australian Society of Polish Jews & Their Descendants' (ASPJ). It was the first major event, in Sydney, to pay tribute to the Polish Righteous Among the Nations. Master of Ceremonies was Polish Vice-Consul General Marta Gubala-Kiec.
 
As first speaker, ASPJ Treasurer and long-time POLIN Museum volunteer translator, Andrew Rajcher, sincerely thanked the Sydney Polish Consul-General and her staff for agreeing to co-host the exhibition in their city. He told the audience that this event honoured not only those Polish Righteous as recognised by the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem, but also those Poles who were killed by the Nazis, along with the Jews they were helping, and about whom we may never know.
 
Consul-General, Regina Jurkowska, welcomed everyone to the event and spoke at length about the 1,000 year long co-existence of Poles and Jews on Polish soil. Others to speak included the NSW State Justice Secretary David Clarke who recalled his visit to Yad Vashem and the son of Polish Holocaust survivors, Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin, who stated that we cannot imagine the courage it took to risk the life of one's family to save others.
 
A memorial candle was lit by State Member of Parliament, Robert Borsak, in memory of both the rescuers and the rescued - those who survived the War and have passed away since, as well as those who perished while trying to rescue or help Jews during the War.
 
    
    
    

Memorial prayers were then recited by Father Kamil Zylczynski and Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin.
 
A short concert then followed by Polish artist Marek Ravski, who entertained the audience
with songs in both Polish and Yiddish.

    
    
    

This is the third time that this exhibition, produced by the POLIN Museum in conjunction with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has gone on display in Australia. The first two showings were in Melbourne, at the Beth Weizmann Jewish Community Centre and at Dom Polski "Syrena". Upon its return to Melbourne, the exhibition will go on display for a fourth time in Australia, later this year, at the Albion Polish Club.
 

 

2016 "Henryk Sławik Award"
Presentation

Tuesday, 29th March 2016
 
The Henryk Sławik Award is presented in honour of the spirit of the life and deeds of Henryk Sławik, (saving over thirty thousand lives in occupied Hungary, five thousand of those being Jews). The ASPJ's Board of Management of the ASPJ has decided to honour individuals who, or organisations which, have worked towards enhancing mutual respect and understanding between the Polish and Jewish communities.
 
The recipient of the 2016 Award is Krzysztof Łancucki OAM,
Past President of the Polish Community Council of Victoria (PCCV).

 
Krzysztof has a long history of serving Australia's Polish community. When the ASPJ became active almost seven years ago, it was he who extended his hands in friendship. He opened the door to the Polish community for not only the ASPJ, but for the entire Jewish community.
 
Following an introduction by ASPJ President Bernard Korbman OAM, others to speak included current PCCV President Marian Pawlik, Krzysztof's daughter, Monika, who spoke on behalf of her siblings, and Victoria State MP's David Southwick and Nick Wakeling, who jointly presented the Award.
 
Guests were also entertained by two members of Klezmania, David Krycer and Lionel Mrocki, and later by our own Moshe Fiszman, who recited Yiddish and Polish poetry as only he can.
 
The 2016 Award was presented in the presence of the Honorary Polish Consul-General in Melbourne,
Dr.George Łuk-Kozika who, himself, was the recipient of the inaugural Award in 2011.
 

 

The Changing Landscape of Polish-Jewish Dialogue
- an Evening with Andrzej Folwarczny
Melbourne Jewish Holocaust Museum & Research Centre
Sunday, 29th November 2015

 
The subject of Polish-Jewish relations and dialogue in contemporary Poland drew over 150 people from Melbourne's Polish and Jewish communities to hear Andrzej Folwarczny, founder and CEO of Poland's Forum For Dialogue.
 
Andrzej's address, the videos which he showed and the discussion which followed, featuring well-known Melbourne journalist Michael Gawenda, told the story of his organisation's amazing work, particularly with Polish young people.
 
As well as combatting antisemitism and racial vilification, Andrzej spoke of how his organsation is encouraging young Poles, whether in cities, towns or villages, to uncover and discover their location's Jewish history and heritage.
 
During his address, Andrzej stated how pleased he was to see many familiar faces in the audience, people who had visited his offices in Warsaw and who supported the vital work he and his organisation are doing in today's Poland.
 
          Photographs courtesy Andrew Rajcher, Izi Marmur & Adam Warzel
 
 
 
 

 

Honoring the Polish Righteous Among the Nations
Beth Weizmann Jewish Community Centre
Sunday, 5th July 2015

 
Around 250 people from Melbourne's Polish and Jewish communities filled the auditorium of the Beth Weizmann Jewish Community Centre in Melbourne for the Australian premiere screening of the POLIN Museum's film "Ocaleni" (The Rescued) and for the Official Opening of the Australian showing of the POLIN Museum's exhibition "They Risked Their Lives - Poles Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust".
 
The screening and display were part of the Australian Society of Polish Jews & Their Descendants' major event which paid tribute to the Polish Righteous Among the Nations.
 
Master of Ceremonies was ASPJ Vice-President and long-time POLIN Museum volunteer translator, Andrew Rajcher, who told the audience that this event honoured not only those Polish Righteous as recognised by the Yad Vashem Institute, but also those Poles who were killed by the Nazis, along with the Jews they were aiding, and about whom we may never know.
 
          Photographs courtesy Brian Cail
 
Among the guest speakers were the Ambassador of the State of Israel to Australia, Mr Shmuel
Ben-Shmuel, the Honorary Consul-General of the Republic of Poland in Melbourne, Dr George
Łuk-Kozika, President of the Polish Community Council of Victoria, Mr Marian Pawlik, Sidra
Kranz-Moshinski (daughter of Henryk Kranz, a child Holocaust survivor saved by Poles) and
Matthew Fiedorowicz (grandson of the Polish Righteous Leokardia Choińska-Walczak).
 
Prior to the Official Opening of the Exhibition, a short memorial service was held with the
lighting of seven candles - one each for the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust,
and one more for the Polish Righteous who survived the War and have since died, and for those
Poles who were murdered during the War while trying to help Jews. Memorial prayers were recited
by Rabbi Phillip Heillbrun and Ks.Wiesław Słowik.
 

 
The formal part of the event concluded with Ambassador Ben-Shmuel and Consul-General Łuk-Kozika
jointly cutting the ribbon to officially open the Exhibition.
 
The exhibition and film will be shown at several venues in Melbourne over the next eighteen months and,
in 2016, they will travel to Sydney where they will be hosted by the Consulate of the Republic of Poland.
 

The Australian Society of Polish Jews & Their Descendants sincerely thanks the following Sponsors who,
through their support and generosity, made it possible for us to bring the Exhibition to Australia:

 
  • The Embassy of the State of Israel in Australia
  • Jewish Community Council of Victoria
  •  
  • The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Australia
  • Polish Community Council of Victoria
  • Australian Institute of Polish Affairs
  • Axiom Compusat Services
  • Cafe D'lish
  • Flight Centre, Elwood
  • Polaron European Solutions
  •  
  • Axis Property
  • FBI Intelligent Travel
  • Ms Eva Hussain
  • Mrs Dora Rajcher

  •  

    2014 "Henryk Sławik Award"
    Presentation

    Tuesday, 28th October 2014
     
    The Henryk Sławik Award is presented in honour of the spirit of the life and deeds of Henryk Sławik, (saving over thirty thousand lives in occupied Hungary, five thousand of those being Jews). The ASPJ's Board of Management of the ASPJ has decided to honour individuals who, or organisations which, have worked towards enhancing mutual respect and understanding between the Polish and Jewish communities.
     
    The recipient of the 2014 Award is Pauline Rockman OAM,
    President of Melbourne's Jewish Holocaust Centre.

     
    Pauline was presented with the Award by actress Magda Szubanska, whose yearning to meet Polish Jewish descendants, and compare their stories with those of her own Polish grandparents,
    had led to long conversations with Pauline.
     
    Having visited Poland the first time 11 years ago, Pauline realised that the country was not just a place of death and suffering, but also a place where Poles and Jews had lived together for centuries. This led to Pauline advocating for the betterment of Polish-Jewish relations and for mutual respect and understanding.
     
    Guest speaker at the presentation event was writer Arnold Zable who spoke on the theme
    of "Towards a Better Society".
     
    The 2014 Award was presented in the presence of the Honorary Polish Consul-General in Melbourne,
    Dr.George Łuk-Kozika who, himself, was the recipient of the inaugural Award in 2011.
     

     

    Paweł Bramson Visit
    4th-13th June 2013
     
    The ASPJ was pivileged to host Paweł Bramson's visit to Melbourne, accompanied by his wife, Paolina,
    and daughter Zuzanna, to tell our community the story of his amazing life transformation.

     
    The visit was also intended to emphasize that in Poland, today, every day, someone else discovers their Jewish identity and that these people deserve every support that we can give them.
    (Above, left & right)
    The highlight of Paweł's visit was the screening of his film "The Moon is Jewish". Over 200 people attended the event at Glen Eira Town Hall. Following the screening, Paweł answered questions from the audience and met with them over coffee afterwards.
    During his time in Melbourne, Rabbi Pawlak visited some of Melbourne's Jewish schools ....
    At Bialik College, addressing a school assembly and
    telling his story to a Year 9 class
    Addressing a senior class
    at Mount Scopus Memorial College
    (Left & right)
    Paweł and Paolina visited Melbourne's Holocaust Centre, where they met the Centre's Executive Director, Warren Fineberg, and survivor-guides, many of whom came from Poland. Guides Moshe Fiszman and David Prince then took them on a tour of the Centre.
    And then, they relaxed a little ....
    Left:
    Football fan Paweł was the guest of the Collingwood Football Club, seeing his first game of Aussie Rules as the Magpies thrashed Melbourne at the MCG.
     
    Right:
    Paweł and Paolina visited the Melbourne Zoo to get a close-up of Australia's unique fauna.
    Below: Paweł was guest speaker at the "Jews of the CBD" luncheon
     

    2012 "Henryk Sławik Award"
    Presentation

    Tuesday, 13th November 2012
     
    The Henryk Sławik Award is presented in honour of the spirit of the life and deeds of Henryk Sławik, (saving over thirty thousand lives in occupied Hungary, five thousand of those being Jews). The ASPJ's Board of Management of the ASPJ has decided to honour individuals who, or organisations which, have worked towards enhancing mutual respect and understanding between the Polish and Jewish communities.
     
    The 2012 recipients of the Award were Lucyna Artymiuk (left) and Krystyna Duszniak (right) - both of Melbourne.
     
    Lucyna Artymiuk was presented with her Award by the President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria,
    Nina Bassat, while Krystyna Duszniak was presented with her Award by Chairman of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Chin Tan.
     
    Speaking about their long involvement in the betterment of Polish-Jewish relations, Associate Professor Mark Baker spoke about Krystyna Duszniak, while ASPJ Treasurer, Andrew Rajcher, spoke about Lucyna Artymiuk.
     
    The ceremony was attended by members of both the Polish and Jewish communities.
     
     

    Rabbi Maciej Pawlak
    Rabbi/Director of Lauder-Morasha Jewish Schools in Warsaw

    31st May - 7th June 2012
     
    The ASPJ was pivileged to host Rabbi Maciej Pawlak's visit to Melbourne, intended to highlight the fact
    that there is an emerging Jewish community in Poland and that, like him, every day in Poland,
    someone else discovers their own Jewish identity.

     
    The highlight of his visit was the public function in which Rabbi Pawlak was "in conversation" with
    Zeddy Lawrence, National Editor of the "Australian Jewish News".
    During his time in Melbourne, Rabbi Pawlak visited three of Melbourne's Jewish schools ....
    at Bialik College
    at Mount Scopus College
    at Leibler-Yavneh College
     
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