The Story Of Pnina Berkman’s Matseva

Pnina Berkman’s matseva at Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth



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The story about Pnina, her son Mark and his re-connection to his family, appeared in The West Australian on 24 January 2013

Read here

Thanks to the researcher, Rose Raymen, for sharing this story with me, and Estelle Blackburn for writing it.




Estelle Blackburn: The-making-of-a-serial-killer

“NO RECORD” RESULT letter from the Victorian BDM Registry in response to Mark Berkman’s request



Private Patricia Vinico Grigg in the Australian Women’s Army


Her WW2 service certificate.


The Frances Barkman House in Balwyn Victoria where Mark Berkman stayed after his mother’s death

One can see the faces of the children looking out from the fence.


Patricia Grigg with adoptive father Charles Leslie Grigg


Pnina’s mother Dorothea Vinnicombe


Mark Berkman


Mark Berkman taken shortly before the death of his mother


Pnina and Gerszon (Gary) Berkman with son Mark Melbourne 1950


Mark’s new-found cousins from left to right: Lois Langdon and Jean Williams


Pnina Berkman


Mark and Rivka Berkman’s wedding day


Mark and Rivka Berkman’s children from left to right: Son-in-law Shlomi Weizmann, son Hadar Berkman, granddaughter Bar Weizmann, daughter-in-law Tahel Berkman, son Tamir Berkman, daughter Rona Weizmann and granddaughter Mia Weizmann


Mark and Rivka Berkman, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2016

Maccabean article 16 July 2010:


More about:

Rose Raymen

Estelle Blackburn

Eric Cooke

Perth KehilaLink


Professor Kassow, YIVO, Polin & Poland

Video of the opening statement in an online YIVO course run by Professor Samuel Kassow, world authority on Ashkenazi Jews.


Samuel Kassow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dr. Samuel D. Kassow (born 1946) is an American historian of the history of Ashkenazi Jewry. He was born in a displaced persons‘ camp in Stuttgart, Germany. His mother survived because a classmate hid her and her sister in a dug-out underneath the barn on his family’s farm, whilst his father was arrested by the Russians and spent the duration of the war in a Soviet prison camp.[1][2] He grew up in New Haven, Connecticut.[3] Kassow earned his B.A. from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1966, his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics in 1968, and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1976. He is married to Lisa Kassow, director of the Zachs Hillel House at Trinity College. He has two daughters named Miri and Serena.[4] Kassow was the Charles Northam Professor at Trinity College for many years.

Kassow was a consultant to the Museum of History of the Polish Jews, which opened on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto, and was responsible for two of the eight core exhibitions. [5]

In his books, Who Will Write Our History? Rediscovering a Hidden Archive From the Warsaw Ghetto and Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, Kassow speaks about the importance of preserving historical documents and the past. He describes the historical events going on during World War Two in the 1940s that affected and eventually eliminated the Warsaw Ghetto. His main focus is the three archives created in absolute secrecy by a small group of people that lived in the Warsaw Ghetto which were uncovered and studied about ten years later.[6]

His 2007 book Who Will Write Our History is currently being adapted to a documentary film of the same title, directed by Roberta Grossman and produced by Nancy Spielberg. It is set to be released in 2017.


  • Students, Professors, and the State inTsarist Russia: 1884-1917, University of California Press, 1989. ISBN 0-520-05760-0.
  • Between Tsar and People: the Search for a Public Identity in Tsarist Russia. Edith Clowes, Samuel Kassow, James L. West eds. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ 1991. ISBN 0-691-03153-3.
  • The Distinctive Life of East European Jewry, YIVO, New York 2004
  • Who will Write our History: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, Indiana University Press, 2007

External links




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Center for Jewish History NYC.jpg
Established 1925
Location 15 West 16th Street, ManhattanNew YorkUS
Coordinates 40.738047°N 73.993821°WCoordinates40.738047°N 73.993821°W
Director Jonathan Brent
Public transit access Subway14th Street – Union Square
Website YIVO

YIVO (Yiddishייִוואָ), established in 1925 in Wilno, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) as the Yidisher Visnshaftlekher Institut (Yiddishייִדישער װיסנשאַפֿטלעכער אינסטיטוטYiddish Scientific Institute[1]), is an organization that preserves, studies, and teaches the cultural history of Jewish life throughout Eastern Europe, Germany and Russia, as well as orthographylexicography, and other studies related to the Yiddish language. (The word yidisher means both “Yiddish” and “Jewish”.) The English name of the organization was changed to the Institute for Jewish Research subsequent to its relocation to New York City, although it is still primarily known by its Yiddish acronym. YIVO is now a member of the Center for Jewish History.


YIVO preserves manuscripts, rare books, and diaries, and other Yiddish sources. The YIVO Library in New York contains over 385,000 volumes[1] dating from as early as the 16th century.[2][3] The YIVO Archives holds over 24,000,000 documents, photographs, recordings, posters, films, and other artifacts.[1] Together, they comprise the world’s largest collection of materials related to the history and culture of Central and East European Jewry and the American Jewish immigrant experience.[1] The Archives and Library collections also hold many works in twelve major languages,[4] including EnglishFrenchGermanHebrewRussianPolish, and Ladino .[4]

YIVO also functions as a publisher of Yiddish-language books and of periodicals including YIVO Bleter[5] (founded 1931), Yedies Fun YIVO (founded 1929), and Yidishe Shprakh(founded 1941). It is also responsible for such English-language publications as the YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Studies (founded 1946).


YIVO was initially proposed by Yiddish linguist and writer Nochum Shtif (1879–1933). He characterized his advocacy of Yiddish as “realistic” Jewishnationalism, contrasted to the “visionary” Hebraists and the “self-hating” assimilationists who adopted Russian or Polish. Other key founders included philologist and theater director Max Weinreich (1894–1969) and historian Elias Tcherikover (1881–1943).[6]

Founded at a Berlin conference in 1925, but headquartered in Wilno – a city then in Eastern Poland with a large Jewish population – the early YIVO also had branches in Berlin, Warsaw and New York City. Over the next decade, smaller groups arose in many of the other countries with Ashkenazic Jewish populations.

In YIVO’s first decades, Tcherikover headed the historical research section, which also included Shimon DubnowSaul M. GinsburgAbraham Menes, and Jacob ShatzkyLeibush Lehrer (1887–1964) headed a section including psychologists and educators Abraham GolombH. S. Kasdan, and A. A. RobackJacob Lestschinsky (1876–1966) headed a section of economists and demographers Ben-AdirLiebman Hersh, and Moshe Shalit. Weinreich’s language and literature section included Judah Leib (“J.L.”) CahanAlexander HarkavyJudah A. JoffeSelig KalmanovitchShmuel NigerNoah Prilutzky, and Zalman Reisen.[7] YIVO also collected and preserved ethnographic materials under the direction of its Ethnographic Committee.[8] In 1925, YIVO’s honorary board of trustees or “Curatorium” consisted of Simon DubnowAlbert EinsteinSigmund FreudMoses GasterEdward Sapirand Chaim Zhitlowsky.

From 1934–1940, YIVO operated a graduate training program known as the Aspirantur. Named after Zemach Shabad, YIVO’s chairman, the program held classes and guided students in conducting original research in the field of Jewish studies. Many of the students’ projects were sociological in nature (reflecting the involvement of Max Weinreich) and gathered information on contemporary Jewish life in the Vilna region.[9]

The Nazi advance into Eastern Europe caused YIVO to move its operations to New York. A second important center established as the Fundacion IWO in Buenos Aires, Argentina.[10] All four directors of YIVO’s research sections were already in the Americas when the war broke out or were able to make their way there.[11] For their own reasons, the Nazis carried the bulk of YIVO’s archives to Berlin, where the papers survived the war intact, and eventually were moved to YIVO in New York

The Chicago YIVO Society is a third active center today .[12]


YIVO has undertaken many major scholarly publication projects, the most recent being The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, published in March 2008 in cooperation with Yale University Press.[13] Under the leadership of editor-in-chief Gershon David Hundert, professor of history and of Jewish Studies at McGill University in Montreal, this unprecedented reference work systematically represents the history and culture of Eastern European Jews from their first settlement in the region to the present day. More than 1,800 alphabetical entries encompass a vast range of topics including religion, folklore, politics, art, music, theater, language and literature, places, organizations, intellectual movements, and important figures. The two-volume set also features more than 1,000 illustrations and 55 maps. With original contributions from an international team of 450 distinguished scholars, the encyclopedia covers the region between Germany and the Ural Mountains, from which more than 2.5 million Jews emigrated to the United States between 1870 and 1920.

The first complete English-language edition of Max Weinreich’s classic book History of the Yiddish Language,[14] edited by Dr. Paul (Hershl) Glasser, was published in two volumes in 2008.


Polin Museum, Warsaw, Poland

175th Anniversary of Cape Town Jewry – Videos


Emdon Video Productions filmed the evening’s celebrations which included:

the hilarious MC, Nik Rabinowitz, no relation;

the Gardens’ chairman Solly Berger, who is my cousin;

Chief Rabbi of the UK & the Commonwealth, Ephraim Mirvis;

Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Warren Goldstein;

Rabbi Yossi Goldman of Sydenham Highlands North Shul;

Rabbi Pinchus Feldman of Sydney;

Rabbi Osher & Sarah Feldman of the Gardens Shul;

and South African music icon, Johnny Clegg.

Thanks to Emdon Video Productions for allowing me to extract some footage from their video.

That’s Jill and me on the top right of the display. We were married at the Gardens Shul on 31 July 1977

Rabbi Osher & Sarah Feldman of the Gardens Shul


Here are selected clips from the video. This video clip is for South African Jews, especially Boerejode. It is hilarious.


The Cape Town KehilaLink:


My Other KehilaLinks

The Great Challah Bake – Perth – 3 videos

Some of the crowd


The three videos

Thursday 10 November 2016

Perth’s Jewish community kicked off its third annual Shabbat Project with a well attended Great Challah Bake at The Jewish Centre.

200 women attended.

Bianca Singer’s instructions, drosha and great Jewish music were heard via headphones on a silent disco – a world first!

A special challah cover was given as a home gift to all who attended.

Video: (me)

Music: Yaakov Shwekey

More videos to follow after Shabbat!

The Perth KehilaLink:



Commemorating Kristallnacht

Königsberg Synagogue
Königsberg Synagogue


Lore Zusman was born in Königsberg 90 years ago.

Here are her memories of the Königsberg Synagogue, Kristallnacht and a book presented to her mother after the synagogue was destroyed on Kristallnacht in 1938.

Rabbi Reinhold
Rabbi Reinhold Lewin
The back of the photo
The back of the photo
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The Rebbetzin & son



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Königsberg / Kaliningrad KehilaLink with links to the synagogue and Kristallnacht.


Hear Erika Sternberg’s story on Kristallnacht in Breslau. Click on her image.



Commemoration in Perth – 9 November 2016



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Just received: An email from Susan Taube of the USHHM

I was only 12 years old when the Nazis ransacked Jewish homes and buildings in my neighborhood on Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass.”

They took my father away to Buchenwald. My mother, sister, and I didn’t know if we would ever see him again. Our front door was smashed, our books torn apart, our dishes shattered. And with my father gone, we were left to pick up the pieces.

This week marks the 78th anniversary of that terrible night—and though decades have gone by, my memories of it have not faded.

Will you join me in commemorating Kristallnacht by viewing photographs and listening to testimonies in the Museum’s collection?

Photo: Susan Taube has been a volunteer at the Museum since its founding. US Holocaust Memorial Museum


Kristallnacht marked an ominous turning point in the Nazi persecution of Jews, and the Museum preserves artifacts and testimonies of the event so that its story can always be told.

We must remember—both to honor the innocent people who suffered that night, and to recognize our responsibility to help those facing hatred and violence today.

Please take a few minutes to explore some of the remarkable evidence in the Museum’s collection from Kristallnacht.


Susan Taube
Holocaust survivor and Museum volunteer

Photo: Shattered storefront of a Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht. Berlin, Germany, November 10, 1938. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD


The Internet by Dylan Kotkis

The Internet by Dylan Kotkis

An original song written about the mental nature of the internet.
Special thanks to: Chris Foster (music teacher), Kieran Kenderessy (sound) and Eli Rabinowitz (video).
We filmed this in Perth yesterday.


Watch, listen and enjoy. Brilliant!