The Greatest Loss

Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) begins in the evening of Wednesday May 4th and Jewish Care is honoured to be able to release a brand new video to commemorate this solemn day.

‘The Greatest Loss’ is a gripping 15-minute short film that features interviews with 12 Holocaust survivors who have a relationship with Jewish Care as clients, aged care residents, volunteers and donors. They emotionally recount their loss of childhood, family, identity and freedom at the hands of NAZI Germany and its collaborators.

Each person tells their own heartbreaking story of how they managed to survive the atrocities they witnessed and experienced.

This is the first video in a new Jewish Care series titled ‘Rising From The Ashes’  that documents the thoughts and memories of survivors on a number of different topics. Continue reading

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Does True Love Really Exist?

Memories of love… They stay with us throughout our life, giving us strength during the hardest times.

Feelings of true love can ignite for someone at any time and any stage of the courtship and romance.

For some, it can be love at first sight; For others, it can happen on the first date.

To find your partner in life is a very powerful and special feeling.

At Jewish Care, we wanted to celebrate and share the stories of true love of our residents.

‘My Love’ is a heart-warming campaign that celebrates the memories of love of a group of Jewish Care residents and clients who revealed how couples used to date ‘back in the day’; what practices have changed completely and what values stayed just as strong.

Once you have read our series of short stories (which will be published once a week), you will most certainly answer the opening question of our headline with a YES!

And please, don’t forget to share with your loved ones and on social media using our hashtag #Mylove

Thank you!

My Love – Anna Zamek
Born in Bialystok, Poland in 1922; lives in Melbourne since 1935

Anna Zamek, My Love campaign
Anna Zamek, Active Living Centre client

My mum used to say: “When you meet a good boy you’d like to date, always ask him if he knows how to dance. It’s very important.” I listened and did ask my future husband Abe about it. As a result, we danced for ten years at Melbourne’s Maison de Lux Hall so he could prove his skills before we started to date. (Laughs)

He was the nicest, softest man I’ve ever met. Of course, I agreed when he proposed. But he still had to meet my mum. I told him to buy her favourite treat she could never resist – chocolate almonds, and it was a win-win.

We spent our honeymoon in Mildura and then moved into our first home — a room and a kitchen in my cousin’s house in Elwood. Eventually, we got a flat and had 2 wonderful kids, daughter Carol and son Perry who now lives in Israel.

I can’t say we had much money even though we worked as horses. Abe worked in steel industry and I had a shop on Victoria’s Market and was up at 5.30 am every morning. Nevertheless, we were truly happy. We continued to dance, loved opera and did everything together until he passed away… I miss him every day.

I am a Happy Man!

By Sarah Bendetsky
Glick's Cakes and BagelsEach time I walk into the Glick’s shop on Carlisle St, I wonder if Mr Mendel Glick is around. He is. Dressed in a white shirt and a white yarmulke, he is always busy – shaping another challah loaf or removing bones from herring – like a jeweller faceting a diamond.

The iconic Melbourne baker and the founder of the Glick’s Cakes & Bagels chain is over 90 years old.
He left behind six concentration camps including Auschwitz and Buchenwald. He lost both parents and 9 siblings. He barely survived. Yet, despite these unbearable personal tragedies, Mr Glick managed to start a new life in Australia and recreate his own dynasty with his wife Chaya.
A proud father of 9 and a grandfather of over 120 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he continues to bake the best bagels in town, while inspiring everyone around him.
We sit inside Carlisle St Glick’s Café on a warm autumn afternoon. Mr Glick looks out the window for a minute. He looks at passers-by and trams, Yeshivah students and young mothers with prams… He concentrates. And then he starts his story.

Continue reading

Masha Zeleznikow OAM: A Woman of Valour

By Sarah Bendetsky
MASHA_18Masha Zeleznikow is well-known in our community. The key protagonist of Arnold Zable’s highly acclaimed play, ‘Café Scheherazade’, the real Masha’s biography is nothing less but fascinating. Jewish Care’s Life Governor and longstanding volunteer, Masha experienced the horrors of the Gulag forced labour camp during World War II and moved to the unknown Land of Oz. She made Café Scheherazade into an iconic hub for refugees, artists and actors, and has run the ‘Tuesday Club’ for over 36 years, giving hope to Russian immigrants to start a new life in Australia, just like she did for herself.

 What are your first childhood memories?

I grew up in Sosnowiec, a big industrial city in Poland close to the German border. Life was good; I went to a Jewish government school and studied Hebrew at Bais Yakov School in the afternoons. My father had a shoe factory and mum stayed home with kids.

Describe your life during the war.

Our lives changed drastically when the Germans invaded Poland on 3 September 1939. The next morning they entered Sosnowiec. From then on, Jews were not allowed to use public transport. I risked being caught and travelled up to 15 km one way to collect the money from my father’s customers. I was eleven.

We decided to leave to the Soviet part of Poland. On 1 January 1940, we crossed the 7km-long, ice-covered river in the middle of the night. All of us, including my six-year-old sister, carried heavy sacks on our backs. Snow was everywhere; it was absolutely freezing. We were scared to be discovered by Germans, Poles or Russians. Luckily, we made it to the other side unharmed.

Continue reading