From the ASPJ New South Wales Desk

From the ASPJ New South Wales Desk

Dear Members and Friends,

The last six months have passed in what feels like a hermetically sealed jar, where we watched our world shift and change. It is hard to remember a world before 7th October, as we move forward into 2024.

On Monday, 26th February 2024, we launched this year’s ASPJ events with a compelling talk by Sarah Grandke, visiting Research Fellow at the Sydney Jewish Museum (SJM), and historian, Johanna Schmied. Grandke has developed a special interest in Polish-Jewish history while on exchange at Łódź University during her undergraduate degree. Her passion led to the extraordinary discovery, in 2018, of approximately 22,100 postcards, relatively untouched, in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto archive. Grandke, together with Shmied, selected 400 of these postcards destined for Hamburg. Each was examined and curated into a poignant exhibition “Unsent Postcards” ,which was shown at the documentation centre  “denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof” in Hamburg in 2022. The exhibition provided insight into the complex mail and censorship restrictions that existed within the Litzmannstadt Ghetto.

The talk by Grandke and Schmied probed into the subject matter of these postcards and why they were withheld by the censors, never leaving the ghetto. Some 500 people viewed this talk, nationally and internationally. It is still available for viewing on our ASPJ website. Special thanks to Eva Hussain and Stephanie Gogos of Polaron for their support in this event.

PLEASE NOTE: The ASPJ is currently researching ways in which to bring the “Unsent Postcards” exhibit to Australia. If you would like to be involved in some way, please contact me through the ASPJ email below.

  • The last six months have consolidated friendships both personal and professional, including with members of the Polish community. Here are a couple of events where ASPJ has been involved:
    Thursday 7-8 December 2023: Dr Kasia Williams, Professor of European Studies at Australian National University, together with colleagues from Lodz University, facilitated an online workshop with POLIN museum in Warsaw. The workshop titled, “Between Worlds: Performing Polish-Jewish Continuities and  Encounters” attracted scholars, artists, and cultural actors, among them Australian invitees, Galit Klas, Co-artistic Director of Kadimah Yiddish Theatre, and Ian Maxwell, an academic from the University of Sydney. Their brief was to discuss the significance of Jewish theatre and its broader transnational contexts throughout the Polish-Jewish diaspora. Later that morning, Galit Klas and I participated in a round table session in which we shared our respective art forms and their roles in the post-Holocaust narrative.
  • Thursday, 18th January 2024, ASPJ Board Member Lucy Taksa and Sarah Grandke were hosted at the Polish Club in Ashfield by Dr. Robert Czernkowski, Sydney Co-ordinator of the Australian Institute of Polish Affairs (AIPA). To their surprise, they discovered a small exhibition dedicated to the Anders Army there.

On a more personal note, we wish Robert Czernkowski a speedy recovery from his recent surgery and heartfelt congratulations to the extraordinary Max Henner on his 104th Birthday, bis 120 because sto lat came and went!

With warm wishes and prayers for a Pesach of hope, peace and freedom,

Estelle Rozinski,

ASPJ Co-Vice President NSW


Ezra May,

President, ASPJ.

ASPJ Life Members

ASPJ Life Members


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.


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.


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


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


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 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.


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.


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, 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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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

Shalom, dzień dobry and welcome to our first edition of Haynt for 2024.

Although we had high hopes in our prior Rosh Hashana/Jewish New Year edition in September last year, for an upcoming happy & peaceful period for all. Little did we know what was about to occur. And now six months later, we are still  very much living with the ongoing trauma of the 7th October massacre in Israel and the subsequent war, with all its tragic challenges, consequences and losses, for the release of the hostages and elimination of the threat of further violence.

The accompanying surge in antisemitism, both overt and perhaps, more sinister, covert, here in Australia and throughout the world has been unexpected and shocking for many. Unfortunately, the ASPJ itself has not been immune with some members being subjected to doxing and public vilification. As we are all aware this increased social tension has caused much strain on interfaith and multicultural engagement between sections of the Australian community.

However, most pleasingly, at our November 2023 function, Polmission: Passports’s Secrets, the ASPJ was honoured to have the newly-appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Poland His Excellency, Mr Maciej Chmieliński, together
with the First Secretary of the Embassy, Mr Łukasz Graban, attend. We were also very pleased to host Consuls from twelve countries, whose attendance was very much appreciated as an expression of support for Israel and the local Jewish community.

The ASPJ also had the opportunity to meet Ambassador Benjamin Hayes prior to his deployment to Warsaw in late January 2024 as Australian Ambassador to Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. The ASPJ also thanks the previous Ambassador Lloyd Brodrick for his contribution since 2019, particularly for his care and sensitivity towards Polish-Jewish relations and the great friendship extended to the ASPJ throughout his term.

Pleasingly, in March 2024, the ASPJ hosted a webinar, organised by Estelle Rozinski of our NSW branch, entitled “Unsent Postcards: Last Signs of Life from Lodz Ghetto”. Thus far, this webinar has been viewed over 500 times on our Facebook & YouTube platforms – which is an excellent response and shows the large potential reach of the ASPJ.

The ASPJ’s Statement of Purpose is “To preserve and promote the historical and cultural heritage of Jewish life in Poland and to foster understanding between current and future generations of the Polish and Jewish communities”.

The ASPJ Board is busy finalising an eclectic range of further high-class functions and events for the remainder of 2024, which that align with the full spectrum of the historical and cultural heritage of Jewish life in Poland and engaging with the Polish community.

As we are about to celebrate the festival of Pesach (Passover), one can only hope that, globally and individually, we all experience its central themes of liberation and& freedom. We now also stand on the precipice of periods of reflection and gratitude in the calendar. In the coming weeks, we have Yom Ha’Shoah (Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day) and, in the following week, Yom Ha’Zikaron (Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror),  immediately followed by Yom Ha’Atzamut (Israel Independence Day). Also, in Australia, we commemorate ANZAC Day.

All of these days should cause us to pause and reflect not only on the tremendous debt we owe for the sacrifice of so many of the generations before us to ensure that people, all peoples, can live today in peace, friendship and tolerance. But on the terrible suffering and devastation that can result when we do not.

It is our fervent hope that Australia will remain the welcoming land of opportunity – a country of religious freedom and protection, where people and communities of different religions, race, ethnicities all live together, without hate or fear in a vibrant, prosperous multicultural community that benefits us all.

Enjoy this latest edition of HAYNT and our thanks to our editor Izi Marmur for all his effort in producing yet another excellent edition.

Ezra May,

President, ASPJ.