Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

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VAJEX Australia Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Remembrance

By Ruben Barylak and Sophie Fink
Year 11 Leaders at the King David School

On Sunday 4th August, we attended the VAJEX Australia Annual Pilgrimage Service at the Shrine of Remembrance with Margaret Pagone, MI Humanities Leader. As Year 11 leaders we were proud to be asked to represent The King David School.

It was an extremely emotional service commemorating Jewish soldiers who bravely fought for Australia, especially during World War I, as well as in all theatres of war and Peace Keeping operations. The service included a Wreath Laying Ceremony, in which we participated along with the Patron-in-Chief of VAJEX, MAJGEN Jeffrey V Rosenfeld AM OBE CStJ. We listened to some beautiful psalms, prayers and heartfelt words by several people, including the President, Dr. Judy Landau and Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn OAM, who also sounded the great Shofar for our freedom.

Attending this service gave us the opportunity to learn about the altruistic actions of many Jewish soldiers and the fate of many. Their selfless actions still resonate with the Jewish people today as their sacrifice is in keeping with the giving nature of Jews. This service allowed us to properly see the connection between the two. The service really touched our hearts, and will be something that we will always be able to look back on sentimentally.

VAJEX holds a number of commemorative services to remember all brave Jewish soldiers who have fallen, and it was an honour to attend one of them. We value their ongoing commitment to the Jewish ex-servicemen and women, allowing the Jewish youth of today to learn about this rich and important history. We thank VAJEX for the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the work of Jewish soldiers, especially during World War 1 & 2, and the opportunity to commemorate their work.

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