ASPJ Life Members

ASPJ Life Members

BERNARD KORBMAN, OAM

Life Membership awarded December 2021

Since its foundation back in 2009, Bernard Korbman OAM has been the philosophical and spiritual driving force behind the Australian Society of Polish Jews & Their Descendants. It was his ideal and motivation that inspired the rebirth of a Polish-Jewish organisation after what had been a hiatus of more than twenty-five years.

For the past eleven years, Bernard has served the ASPJ as its Founding President, President, Co-President, Vice-President and Board member. However, he has felt that now was the right time for him to step down and allow others to take the reins.


IZYDOR MARMUR, OAM

Life Membership awarded December 2021

Izydor Marmur OAM is one of the foundation members of the Australian Society of Polish Jews and Their Descendants. Since its foundation in 2009, Izy has served our organisation in many capacities, including as President, Vice-President and, until today, as Editor of the ASPJ’s publication “Haynt”.

He was a co-Instigator of the Friends of Poland Victorian Parliamentary Group. In 2014, he was presented with a Volunteer Award by Jewish Community Council of Victoria. Izydor, along with others, has been a driving force in bringing Victoria’s Polish and Jewish communities closer together.



From Our Webmaster

From Our Webmaster

Andrew Rajcher - Melbourne, Australia

Welcome to the new and upgraded website of the Australian Society of Polish Jews and Their Descendants!

Our original website went online in 2009, following the emergence of the ASPJ from the dormant remains of the Worldwide Fedaration of Polish Jews. Since then, the website underwent a minor facelift but, with the advent of more advanced website, multi-platform and multimedia technology, it was really time to take advantage of these advancements and to develop an entirely new website.

In putting this new website online, I’d like to draw a few of its new features to your attention:

  • The top left-hand corner now features the ability to instantly translate everything from English into either Polish or Hebrew.
  • The top right-hand corner now features the ability to search the entire website for specific text (the magnifying-glass symbol). Next to that are two other symbols – the envelope symbol which will allow you to email me directly and the house symbol which will return you to the website’s home page.
  • Notifications of new material on this website will be automatically posted onto our Facebook group with a link back to the relevant part of the website itself.
  • When future major events occur, you will be able to register for them directly through this website.

Finally, I’d like to thank our website programmer Viv Rotstein for her work in setting up the structure of our new website and for her patience, both now and ongoing, in teaching me how to use it all.

I hope that everyone likes our new web home. As always, I welcome comments and suggestions which can be emailed to me by using the envelope symbol in the top right-hand corner of any page on the website.

Enjoy!


The ASPJ Logo

The ASPJ Logo

The Symbolism

The ASPJ’s logo, as is the case with most logos, is symbolic.

The Magen David (Star of David) speaks for itself – that,
as members of this organisation, we are first and foremost Jews.

The white background with the red symbolises Poland,
where our roots lie, while the white combined with the
red and blue represents our home, Australia.

The grey symbolises the Holocaust and the horrific events that
affected all Survivors from Poland, and their descendants,
and which will forever be part of who we are today.


ASPJ Membership

ASPJ Membership

FULL MEMBERSHIP

If you are Jewish and aged 16 years or over, click HERE to download Application Form

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP

If you are not Jewish or you are aged under 16 years, click HERE to download Application Form

Even though the name of our Society is indicative of
our general identity, our membership policy is intended
to be as inclusive as possible.


Naturally, we encourage all Jews, whose roots lie in Poland,
to become a Member and join in our activities.

However, even if you are not Jewish but are interested in
Polish-Jewish relations, history and/or dialogue,
we also encourage you to join us and invite you to apply for
Associate Membership.

Even though Membership is open to Jews aged sixteen years and over,
we also encourage young members under the age of sixteen,
who are interested in their heritage and history, to become an
Associate Member.


ASPJ Board Members

ASPJ Board Members

LENA FISZMAN

Co-Secretary

Lena is a child of Holocaust Survivors from Radom and Kraków. For many years, she worked for the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne. She is also a professional actress.

Lena has visited Poland three times and is deeply committed to preserving and fostering her Polish-Jewish heritage and promoting Polish/Jewish dialogue.


EVA HUSSAIN

Board Member (Melbourne-based)

Eva Hussain was born in Poland and immigrated to Australia in 1985. She is an accredited NAATI translator and interpreter and the Director of Polaron, a translation and European citizenship consultancy.

Eva’s former voluntary roles include Deputy President of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators AUSIT, President of the Polish-Australian Chamber of Commerce and board member of Polish Community Services of Victoria.


IZYDOR MARMUR, OAM

Board Member (Melbourne-based)

Izydor Marmur OAM is one of the foundation members of the Australian Society of Polish Jews and Their Descendants. Since its foundation in 2009, Izy has served our organisation in many capacities, including as President, Vice-President and, until today, as Editor of the ASPJ’s publication “Haynt”.

He was a co-Instigator of the Friends of Poland Victorian Parliamentary Group. In 2014, he was presented with a Volunteer Award by Jewish Community Council of Victoria. Izydor, along with others, has been a driving force in bringing Victoria’s Polish and Jewish communities closer together.


EZRA MAY

President

Ezra, born in Australia , is the son and grandson of Polish Jews from Kraków, Poland.

He has a strong interest in learning about and preserving the memory of the dynamic, rich and vibrant pre-War Jewish communities of Poland. He is also committed to exploring and engaging in contemporary Polish/Jewish dialogue.


KAREN PAKULA

Board Member (Sydney-based)

Karen is the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Chorzew and Vienna. A former journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald, she is writing about her family’s history through a second-generation lens.

Her work explores the re-emergence of Polish Jewry and the ongoing Polish-Jewish dialogue. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two daughters.


ANDREW RAJCHER

Treasurer and Webmaster

Andrew is the son of Holocaust Survivors from Częstochowa and Sosnowiec. As a former professional consultant to non-profit and charitable organisations, he has been actively involved in the Jewish community for many years, both professionally and as a volunteer.

As a regular visitor to Poland, Andrew has worked as a longtime volunteer with numerous Jewish organisations in Poland. As a Polish-to-English translator, Andrew is the longest serving volunteer at Warsaw’s POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Andrew is a member of the Executive of the World Society of Częstochowa Jews and Their Descendants. He is a dual Australian/Polish citizen, speaks fluent Polish and is actively involved in Polish/Jewish dialogue.


ESTELLE ROZINSKI

Vice-President (Sydney-based)

Estelle was born in Melbourne and is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Her entire professional life has been in education and she is most proud of her work mentoring Aboriginal youth at risk and students.

More recently, through her Tikkun Olam series, she has worked as a curator, bringing together artists of Aboriginal, Jewish, Hindu and Korean descent looking for common ground and shared experiences.

The Mezzuzah Project is her most recent passion, celebrating the diverse and vibrant Jewish communities of Poland from before 1939. The “Missing Mezzuzot of Zduńska Wola” is the first exhibition in this series – it is now on permanent display in the museum there.


PETER SCHNALL

Co-Secretary

Peter is the son of Holocaust survivors from Kraków and Łódż. He is President of the President of the Kraków Memorial Committee in Melbourne, which was created by Survivors and is now run by their descendants to honour and remember loved ones who perished in the Holocaust from Kraków.

Peter is strongly committed to preserving the memory of the large and vibrant pre-war Jewish Community of Poland. This task involves actively seeking ways to support education about the Holocaust to honour the memory of the Jewish community of Poland.

Interested in commemorations, Peter is very pleased to receive suggestions and ideas from Survivors, their children and friends. He is also actively seeking vital perspectives for the third generation so as to ensure that their heritage will be remembered for future generations to come.


LUCY TAKSA

Board Member (Sydney-based)

Lucy was born in Poland and came to Australia as an infant. Her family originated in Poland and the Ukraine and survived the Holocaust in the far eastern regions of the USSR. Lucy is a professor, who undertakes research into various dimensions of migrant employment and well-being.

Lucy has been an academic at the University of New South Wales and Macquarie Universities. She was previously a non-judicial member of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal Equity Division, Chair of the Board of the NSW State Records and Archives and a non-executive board member of Settlement Services International Ltd.

 



From the ASPJ President, Ezra May

From the ASPJ President

Dear Members and Friends,

Pleasingly, 2023 has been a year full of events and activities, which have seen the ASPJ expand its footprint.

One of the most satisfying aspects has been the growth of the ASPJ in New South Wales, as we firmly establish ourselves and host N.S.W.-specific functions. Much appreciation goes to our N.S.W. Board members Estelle Rozinski, Karen Pakula and Lucy Taksa for all their innovative effort, drive and commitment.

On the diplomatic front, July 2022, we farewelled the previous Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Australia, His Excellency Michał Kołodziejski. His replacement, His Excellency Maciej Chmieliński,was finally appointed in September 2023.

Ambassador Chmieliński bestowed the ASPJ the significant honour of being the first function which he attended in Melbourne. This was the screening of the film “Polmission: Passport Secrets” which drew an impressive crowd, including Consuls-General and Honorary Consuls representing twelve countries, as well as the Presidents of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria and the Polish Community Council of Victoria, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition David Southwick MP, as well as other community leaders.

Earlier in 2023, we hosted the very successful ASPJ Genealogy Day, featuring Michal Majewski and also representatives of the National Archives of Australia and Polish Museum.

The ASPJ has also continued to publish its newsletter “Haynt” twice a year.

Much thanks to the entire ASPJ Board, including Lena Fiszman, Andrew Rajcher, Eva Hussain and Peter Schnall, as well as our aforementioned New South Wales Board Members, for all their efforts and support throughout the year.

We particularly thank the Wolf & Dora Rajcher Memorial Fund for its financial support.

I look forward to a continuation of further events and activities in 2024.

Ezra May,

President, ASPJ.