B’nai B’rith Retirement Village Benefactor Honoured

November 16, 2015 by Roz Tarszisz
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The late Karla Zolshan was a determined and feisty woman who lived simply and frugally but whose success as a businesswoman gave her the means to give generously to others.

A commemorative plaque has been unveiled on an apartment block at Princess Gardens, the B’nai B’rith Retirement Village (BBRV) in Rose Bay, NSW. This is the second building to be named in her honour, the first was unveiled in 2007. Karla (aka Karoline) Zolshan died in June 2015 aged 105 and left a large bequest to BBRV.

Dorith Freedman, Jacquie Zyl, Elizabeth Zyl, Ben Zyl, Sally Betts, Jacob Zyl, Ilan Zyl, Julia Golding, Miriam Guttman-Jones, Leon Goltsman, Mel Freedman

Dorith Freedman, Jacquie Zyl, Elizabeth Zyl, Ben Zyl, Sally Betts, Jacob Zyl, Ilan Zyl, Julia Golding, Miriam Guttman-Jones, Leon Goltsman, Mel Freedman

Chairman Henry Wirth said that he hoped the formal appreciation accompanying the naming of Block 5A will at least go part of the way in expressing the gratitude of the Home’s Board. The bequest came from the sale of a property.  According to Henry Wirth, BBRV Chairman, the amount is expected to be around the $900,000 mark.

Generous in her lifetime to many causes, in 2007 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to the community. According to Julia Golding, CEO of Centre of Ageing (COA) Karoline’s ethos was that “if you had money, you should do something worthwhile with it”.

Zolshan donated a building to the Rotary Club in Silverwater for use by the NSW Autistic Association and supported causes as varied as Cancer Council, Matthew Talbot Hostel, Mission Australia, Multiple Sclerosis, Royal Blind Society, Salvation Army, Smith Family, St. Vincent de Paul and Wesley Mission.

She also donated to Jewish causes such as COA, Sydney and Sir Moses Montefiore Home of which she was a life governor and financed the redesign and security of its Hunters Hill Monte Gardens Courtyard.

Elizabeth Zyl, Henry Wirth, Dorith Freedman

Elizabeth Zyl, Henry Wirth,
Dorith Freedman

At the dedication,  Wirth, said: “We are broadening the support we provide to the Jewish community. With Karla’s substantial gift we will be able to move forward and meet the challenges of the 21st century in providing Jewish seniors, not only with accommodation, but with a wide variety of support.”

Golding told guests that Karoline “was a remarkable woman, a gift to the community and I sorely miss her friendship. She was full of compassion for those in need.”

Zolshan’s nieces, Dorith Freedman and Elizabeth Zyl, told J-Wire that she had been very close to their mother, Margit Taubert.  The two sisters were inseparable and spent their retirement playing bingo in Kings Cross, travelling together and, in later years, playing rummy tiles at home on the weekend.

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