- Mar 30, 2009
He was called "the face of Australian Jewry in Israel," so it is not surprising that several hundred Australian Israelis showed up yesterday [April 2009] for the funeral of Frank Stein, the former director of the Zionist Federation of Australia's Israel office.
Stein died Monday at the age of 52 of kidney failure, after a brief but intense battle with cancer.
The illustrious group of mourners who gathered in Jerusalem's Har Hamenucha cemetery included prominent Anglo Israelis such as Australian ambassador James Larsen, Ehud Barak's brother Muli Brog and countless representatives from organizations that deal with Diaspora-Israel relations and immigrants, such JNF, Birthright Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Stein was born in Brisbane, where he became involved with the Zionist youth movement Betar at a young age. After he moved to Sydney, he continued his community work for Hineni, where he led programs for young Australian Jews.
In 1985, he moved to Jerusalem, where he worked for several organizations dealing with Diaspora youth and assisting English-speaking immigrants in Israel. He went on to become director of the Zionist Federation of Australia's local office, a position he left last year to serve as an Israeli emissary in South Africa. He spent three months there.
"He always wanted to help others but never wanted help himself," said his brother Benny Stein, who lives in Tel Aviv. "Frank was a very private person. He was always totally reliable."
Stein's sister Hannah Cunningham, who flew in from Australia earlier this week and spent four hours at her brother's hospital bed before he passed away, added: "He was a giver, not a taker. Giving to other people, that was his pleasure in life."
Stein never married. He is survived by his father George and four siblings, most of whom still live in Brisbane.
By Raphael Ahren, Haaretz Correspondent
See also this site in the Journal of the Turkish Weekly.