OUR EVENTS ARCHIVE


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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