2018-04 Bob Shteinman Plugat Hakotel Museum
2018-04 Bob Shteinman Plugat Hakotel Museum

Pictured above: David, Diane and Jonathan Shteinman

From Danny Rosing:

This Tuesday I attended the official opening, in the Old City of Jerusalem, of the Bob Shteinman Plugat Hakotel Museum.

It was a moving experience, about 200 people filled the small hall in the Western Wall tunnel, exquisitely carved under the Cardo and an attractive buffet spread was laid out surrounded by colourful posters and TV monitors showing aspects of the museum and covering the ceremony, film and speeches.
Neriya Meir, the head of World Betar, presented a film Betar made depicting the story of Plugat Hakotel and also spoke of Bob Shteinman and the contribution of Bob's children to the museum project.

President Reuven Rivlin spoke from the heart about his youth in Jerusalem, Betar and Plugat Hakotel and was followed by speeches from Zeev Elkin, Minister for Jerusalem, Mayor Nir Barkat and others.

In the 1930's the British mandatory authorities forbad the blowing of the Shofar on Yom Kippur at the western wall, searched everyone approaching the wall and arrested anyone carrying a Shofar. Betar then set up Plugat Hakotel of Betarim to defy the British and, by smuggling and blowing the Shofar at the end of the Neila prayer, show the eternal connection and sovereignty of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount.
The ceremony, the film, the speeches and the warm atmosphere provided a fitting and moving experience to the occasion and the opening of a valuable museum in honour of a significant episode in Betar's and Israel's history.

Kol Hakavod to World Betar, the Israeli government, the Jerusalem municipality and the Shteinman family for creating the museum and naming it after Bob Shteinman, Mefaked Betar Sydney in the 1950's.

Also, see article from J-Wire here

2018-03 Friends for 60 Years
2018-03 Friends for 60 Years

In April 1958 their was a hike organized by Betar Sydney to go to Commodore Heights (now West Head) over looking Palm Beach and Pittwater and the Pacific Ocean.

It was on this hike that Judy Kovendi(now Bahar) and I met for the first time and we became instant friends and our friendship has blossomed and lasted for the past 60 years.

This photo  shows us pointing to where we had to climb up from the (Pacific Ocean) shore to the top which took us then young teenagers a considerably shorter time than if we attempted it today, if fact we would not bloody even try.

- Lizzie Kornhaber

2018-02 David Ochert, OAM
2018-02 David Ochert, OAM

David Ochert was honoured with the Order of Australia (OAM) in the general division in the Australia Day Honours list 2018 "for service to rowing, particuularly as a coach". He has been a rowing coach at Club, State and National levels dating back to  1981. He has competed at all levels of rowing and is a life member of the Toowong Rowing Club. He is also an inductee in the Hall of Fame, Rowing Victoria (2013).

2018-01 Henry Briggs ז״ל
2018-01 Henry Briggs ז״ל

From Hedva Sheiner:
Henry and Miriam Briggs came at least twice a year to Israel to visit their children and grandchildren.  They have 2 kids in Israel and 2 in Sydney and grandchildren mainly here.  They bought a house in Raanana and of course when here we met up with them.
This November they came again for a special simcha, their first great grandchild was born They left Israel at the end of November 2017 and on the day they arrived home Henry started feeling ill and could not stop vomiting.  It took two or three days till he was hospitalized (no beds available in the hospital!!) and he underwent various tests and finally they found that he had pancreatic cancer at quite an advanced stage.  Already then they did not give him long to live!
All their family, children, husbands, grandchildren and even their tiny great grandson were flown over from Israel. The last few days of his life he spent at their home with the whole family.
A few days before he went they had a special Book Launch at the Sydney Jewish Museum.  The Book is an autobiography about his life as a Holocaust survivor and is named TO LIFE L’CHAIM and in it he also writes about being in Betar and quite a long description of what it meant to him.
They are all being flown to Israel and he will be buried at the Raanana Cemetery, where on this coming Friday we will be visiting Rosette’s  grave for the “shloshim”. 
May they rest in Peace!!

From Miriam: From the Australian Jewish News, January 12, 2018 (Aus time), a review of the life and the book written by Henry - "To Life L'Chaim". Condolences shown here.

2017-05 Rosette Mirjam ז״ל
2017-05 Rosette Mirjam ז״ל

From Jack: "It is my saddest ever duty to inform all our friends that my most cherished and loved girlfriend and bride passed away last night.
She was an unusually fine person with an extraordinary love of life and a typically polish sense of humour. But most of all she loved people and wherever we went made friends leaving a long trail of mourners who will not easily forget her.
Everyone wishes that on their death they will leave this earth just a little better for their short visit. Well Rosette achieved that - oodles of it.
I on the other hand must confront a very bleak dark hole of loneliness."

2017-04 Vick Zack's Photos

Vicki's photos came from a scrapbook she has held for almost 60 years. The images are not especially clear - but consider the cameras of that day and the long storage time. Photos from Towlers bay 1959 and Lake Macquarie 1959 here. Another camp in 1960 here

2017-03 Major finds of films and videos spanning the early years of Betar Australia.

In the next 2 months or so, we will be publishing films and videos from as early as 1954. This is a partial list of the videos that will/have become available:

1954-55 Nudnik, the Shmendrik Camper 

1954-55 Kinglake West camp in Victoria   🗹

1959-60 Kinglake West camp in Victoria

1960s era camps in Sydney

1962 11th Kenes Artzi in Sydney  

1989 Betar Reunion in Israel.

This has been made possible courtesy of John Ziegler. Harry Stuart is attempting the restoration, which includes titling, identification of Betarim where possible, adding soundtracks to the 8mm films, improving the sound from the videos.

Still in progress, the titles above will become clickable links as they become available.

2017-02 Jack Mirjam publishes his life's work in art: "My Life as an Artist"
2017-02 Jack Mirjam publishes his life's work in art: "My Life as an Artist"

Jack's talent in painting is well known in Betar circles. However, the volume of his output over the years is astounding. Over the past few months Jack has assembled over 550 paintings and pastels in a wide variety of subjects from the Holocaust to Australian football and aborigines. And his artistic genes have been passed to his daughter Michelle Feder whose partial work has been added to his portfolio.

Download the file (Adobe Acrobat) from here. Please note that this file is around 23mb.

As of Jan 17, 2018, a Youtube version loaded by Michelle, is also available here.

2017-01 Congratulations to Larry Sitsky: elevated to Officer (AO)
2017-01 Congratulations to Larry Sitsky: elevated to Officer (AO)

OFFICER (AO) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA Australia Day 2017 Emeritus Professor Larry SITSKY AM, 29 Threlfall Street, Chifley ACT 2606 For distinguished service to the arts as a composer and concert pianist, to music education as a researcher and mentor, and through musical contributions to Australia's contemporary culture. Read the article in the Canberra Times here. (Thanks to Peter Keeda for the submission.)

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The web site dedicated to the people who established and grew Betar Australia: 1948 - 1965 and beyond.
December 2017
* Sorry to report: Rosette Mirjam passed away on December 13, 2017 in Israel. See article #2017-05.
Condolences can be sent to the webmaster and can be read here.

* Note from Jack Mirjam 28th December, 2017:
"I would like to send a few words of appreciation to all my friends and acquaintances who sent expressions of condolence to me on the passing away of my dear wife Rosette.
I was deeply moved by your kind outpouring of emotions that referred to Rosette.
Thank you....Thank you....Thank you".
September 2017
* Peter Keeda visits the Jabotinsky Institute to see Betar Australia's collection of documents.

* Photo of the late David Mayer found on a restored camp film - from 1954 here.
August 2017
* Sorry to report: The passing of Evelyn Harris (Ainsley) - noted here. (Thanks to Keith Masnick for the notification.)

* Yaacov Weissman unleashes 4 oldies... four images where we have almost IDed everyone.

* Update: 2017 - Have we changed? Henry Burstyner and Harry Stuart meet again - in New York. See
this for updated photograph.

* Link to Mevout Betar website for those who are interested - thanks to Vernon Kronenberg for supplying.

* Website getting a facelift! (ongoing).

* Major discoveries in films and videos from 1954, 1962 and 1989 - see article #2017-03.
July 2017:
* Jack Mirjam publishes his life's work - see article #2017-02.
May 2017
* Hedva's vault: six images from years gone by just discovered. Can be seen here.

* Larry & Magda Sitsky in Israel. They were feted at Danny & Heather's home. Images forwarded by Hedva Sheiner and can be viewed here
March 2017
* A treasure trove from Vicki Israel (Zack). See article #2017-04.
February 2017
* A couple of new images of Vicki Israel - submitted by Liz Kornhaber (photos #56 & #57) - here  and name corrections to #25.

* Article on Moshe Bush can be seen here. (Submitted by Aaron Ninedek).

* Ed Adamek posts a 'new' old photo from 1967 here.
January 2017
* Larry Sitsky awarded an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia. See article #2017-01.
December 2018
* From Peter Keeda - the breakfast meeting of the "Rose Bay Chasmonaim" breakfast club on December 12. (They wish they were of Chasmonaim age.) The image and its members can be seen here.
July 2018
* Shloshim eulogy for Frank Stein - who passed away in 2009. Thanks to Peter Singer, a lifelong friend with Frank, for submitting a very insightful eulogy which spells out for many of us the Frank we did not know about. Eulogy is published here.

Welcome gathering at Ros. & Henry Ben Ezra's home in Netanya. It was a welcome for Miriam Briggs who has decided to make Israel her permanent home. See the images here.

May 2018
* Danny Rosing reports on the opening of the Bob Shteinman Plugat Hakotel Museum in the Old City of Jeruisalem. Article and photograph here. See article #2018-04. 🗹 NEW

* Sixty year friends. Liz Kornhaber reminisces about her friendship with Judy Behar (Kovendi). See article #2018-03.
January 2018
* David Ochert honoured with an OAM. See Article #2018-02.

* Latest restored video from Kinglake West 1959-60 released. See article #2017-03.
* Some photos from Sam Offman: Thanks to Rose Offman for forwarding materials that have been kept in cold storage, some for 60 years. See the collection here.

* Sorry to report: Henry Briggs passed away today, January 10th 2018 in Sydney. See article #2018-01.

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