Lives Lost, Life Regained
<em>Read the memoirs of ageing Holocaust survivors in ‘Lives Lost, Life Regained’ </em>
Jewish migrants have contributed to the development of Australian society and culture; commencing with the convicts in 1788, Jewish migration continued with the free Anglo-Jewish settlers in the 1820s, the gold rush immigrants of the 1850s, immigrants fleeing the European pogroms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the refugees of pre- and post-World War Two.
Each wave of migrants brought with them artefacts, documents and their “living histories”. A number of global works on Australian Jewish history began to appear in the 1980s; individual stories, however, have been much later in arriving.
The Community Stories program targets ageing migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds, specifically Holocaust Survivors, to be mentored to write their memoir or history and subsequently be eligible to participate in a published anthology of short works. The program specifically caters for the needs of Holocaust Survivors who at times are unable to participate in mainstream writers’ programs.
Participants may want to write their life stories, or the life story of a family member, for their children and grandchildren; they do not require any special literary talent or experience, but simply the desire to write their story. They may wish to take their manuscript to publishing stage or produce several simply bound copies for their family.
• equips communities with tools to value, document and preserve their migration heritage;
• contributes to the knowledge, understanding and awareness of aspects of Jewish heritage and history in Australia;
• provides members of the NSW Jewish community with an opportunity to realise their family histories and value their contribution to Australian society, regardless of first language and personal financial circumstances;
• ensures the ‘voice’ of the writer is not lost in the process of producing the story and publication;
• creates an archival collection of the social history of the NSW Jewish community and chronicle the history of Australian Jewish migration and the migrant experience; and
• “saves” the stories of ageing post-WW2 migrants.
Lives Lost, Life Regained, published in 2005, is an anthology of excerpts from the memoirs of Community Stories participants. The book can be purchased from the Sydney Jewish Museum or loaned from any library in Australia.
Community Stories is a Migration Heritage Centre partnership project with the Sydney Jewish Museum, supported by the NSW Ministry for the Arts.
Jacqui Wasilewsky, Project Manager, Community Stories
Sydney Jewish Museum
148 Darlinghurst Road
Darlinghurst NSW 2010