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3 October 2019

A new social group at Jewish Care’s Active Living Centre is supporting elders in the Victorian Jewish community to share their life stories with loved ones.

The ‘Remembering the Past’ program runs twice-weekly over three months and is structured to take participants on a journey through their lives- from their ancestral history until present day- covering a range of topics, including childhood, love, Jewish identity, and life in Australia.

In each session, the group spends time discussing the week’s theme and sharing their thoughts and personal experiences before recounting their stories to a volunteer or staff member who, on a one-to-one basis, records their recollections in a special life book.

Some of participants are Shoah survivors aged over ninety who migrated to Australia after the war. Through conversation, the elders have reflected on how, although their individual stories are different, they are united by the shared story of the Victorian Jewish community.  

“Sharing our stories is one of the most important ways we connect with each other and maintain a rich sense of connection to our culture, community, families, and ourselves,” said Eva Zeleznikow, Activities Facilitator at Jewish Care’s Active Living Centre. “The Remembering the Past group is built on recognition that everyone has a story to share. By helping elders to record their personal histories, we are helping to preserve their legacy for future generations.”

As well as writing in their life book, participants also complete smaller projects that complement their stories, including a scrapbook, self-portrait, and memory box.

At the completion of the program, participants will be invited to bring friends and family to a special presentation night, where they will share their projects and stories with their loved ones.

For more information about the Remembering the Past group or Jewish Care’s Active Living Centre, please contact  [email protected] or 8517 5401.