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2019 ANZAC Day

 

Australian IDF Lone soldiers, Jarith Jawno (left) and Josh Hakim (centre), with Telfed’s CEO, Dorron Kline.

 

On Monday 29 April, the Australian Embassy in Israel held its annual ANZAC Day Commemorative Service at the Commonwealth War Cemetery on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, next door to the Hebrew University Campus and Hadassah Hospital. 2,539 soldiers are buried in this immaculately kept cemetery, having lost their lives in World War 1.

ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as “Anzacs”. Observed on 25 April each year, the Anzac Day Commemorative Service was delayed in Israel until 29 April, in order to accommodate this year’s celebrations of the Pesach festival. ANZAC day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who served in the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War.

His Excellency Chris Cannan, the Ambassador of Australia to Israel, invited Telfed to attend this year’s ceremony, in honour of the work that the organisation does in the absorption of Australian Olim. Telfed was represented by its CEO, Dorron Kline.

The meaningful and moving ceremony opened with a number of serving members of the Australian soldiers in the Multinational Peace Force, marching around the Catafalque (the raised area in front of memorial stones, with the names of 3,051 soldiers whose place of burial in not known). The call to worship and remembrance was delivered by Rev. Angelena Keiser of St Andrews Church in Jerusalem. Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple, the Rabbi Emeritus of the Sydney Great Synagogue and former Senior Rabbi to the Australian Defence Forces, recited Psalm 23, followed by a poetry recital by Warrant Officer Janelle Lehr.

The main ANZAC Day address was given by H.E. Chris Cannan. Ambassador Cannan related the story of bravery of a Jewish battalion commander of Australian forces at Gallipoli, Major Eliazar (Lazar) Margolin.

Wreaths were placed at the base of the Catafalque. It was obvious that the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America (the “Allies” in World Word 1) were present. Israel was represented by South African veteran Oleh, Meiron Reuben – “Chief of State Protocol” in the Israel Foreign Ministry. What was fascinating was the presence of the Turkish Consul and the German Ambassador to Israel. Both of them laid wreaths of remembrance. The Allies and the Ottoman’s each lost over 55,000 men in the Gallipoli Campaign. Yigal Sela, the Director of the Israel Office of the Zionist Federation of Australia, laid the wreath on behalf of the ZFA and Telfed.

Following the sounding of the bugle (the “Rouse”) and the national anthems of Israel, New Zealand and Australia, Rabbi Apple held a special ceremony at the small Jewish section of cemetery. “These young Jewish men perished in the First World War and did not merit to see the established of the State of Israel. How proud they would be of our accomplishments,” said the Rabbi. 

It was an honour for Telfed to attend this special ceremony, meet up with some of the Australian lone soldiers who are currently serving in the IDF and show our respect for those who paid the supreme price during WW1. 

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