News from the JHC

A piece of art with a unique story attached to it was donated to the Melbourne Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC) this week.

Created by Aboriginal artist Stephen Harrison following a visit to the museum with the Galiamble Aboriginal Men’s Recovery Centre, the painting was gifted to JHC president Pauline Rockman in a ceremony on Monday.Harrison, a father of 14, told the gathering his inspiration came after he was taken to the museum by vice-president of the Child Survivors of the Holocaust Vivian Parry, also a volunteer at the Aboriginal centre. It was Harrison’s first-ever trip to a museum.

The Jewish Holocaust Centre has launched the JHC Film Club in partnership with Deakin University. The aim of the JHC Film Club is to view and discuss films about the Holocaust, other genocides and human rights' issues. Film screenings are held at the Centre from 7:00pm on the last Thursday of every month. Entry is by donation. Light refreshments will be provided.

During the four years Abram Goldberg was incarcerated in a Nazi-run ghetto during World War II he made a potent promise to himself. If he survived the ordeal, which claimed the lives six million Jews - including his parents - he would dedicate his life to fighting injustice, racism and anti-Semitism.

Since he emigrated to Melbourne in 1951, Mr Goldberg has spent more than 7000 hours volunteering at the Jewish Holocaust Centre, guiding visitors and students through museum exhibits and telling them of his experiences.

The Jewish Holocaust Centre is concerned the ravages of time are taking a toll on irreplaceable historical documents.

The Elsternwick centre needs “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to preserve some of the deteriorating artefacts, mainly paperwork but also some textiles, art and photographs donated by Holocaust survivors.

The Centre’s first function in 2011 was held on 27 January - United Nations Holocaust Memorial Day (UNHMD) – attended by about 300 people from the Jewish and wider communities. The brief commemoration, held at the Glen Eira Town Hall, featured The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP as the keynote speaker. In an eloquent and well-structured address, Mr Dreyfus, a second-generation Holocaust survivor, called upon the federal government, in which he serves as Cabinet Secretary and Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, to be a signatory to the international task force which accords official recognition to UNHMD.

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