Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD


Remembrance Day Connection by Gary Fabian, VAJEX

The annual Remembrance Day commemoration on 12th November remains a continuing tribute to all who served in wars and conflicts in which Australian personnel were involved.

It connects with all Australians, but has a special connection with our Jewish community and Victorian Association of & Servicemen & Women Australia (VAJEX).

Proportionally, the sacrifices of Jewish service personnel far exceeds the comparative statistics for Australia as a whole.

VAJEX is the symbol and torch bearer of the Jewish spirit that permeates the Allied fight for survival and freedom.

It is only fitting that some of the highlights, notable achievements and landmarks in VAJEX Australia's history be recalled on Remembrance Day 2023.

In World War II, more than 3,800 Jewish men and women served in the Australian Armed Forces. That represented a significantly higher percentage than the national enlistment rate and had an impact on Jewish communal life in Victoria.

Of the then 72 male members of Temple Beth Israel, 59 enlisted. From Est. 1929 the 3rd St Kilda Scout Group, 129 or a quarter of Scouts enlisted. Almost all the male membership of Jewish sporting clubs joined the services. Australian Jewish servicemen and women subsequently received 120 awards for bravery and conspicuous service during WWII.

Following the war, there was the urge to maintain contact between those who had served and that evolved into VAJEX, which was founded by Sir John Monash.

VAJEX membership has since grown to embrace a wide group of veterans from many countries that have made Australia their home.


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