Howard Freeman stands down after 38 years as president of AJHS Vic

March 2, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Australian Jewish Historical Society Vic will thank and farewell its long-serving president Howard Freeman after 38 years as its president and immediate past president Trevor Cohen at its AGM later this month.

Anna Epstein

Incoming president, Gavin Silbert wrote to members: “I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself to you as the incoming president of the Victorian branch of the Australian Jewish Historical Society, but before doing so this letter has a far more important purpose.

Howard Freeman is retiring after 38 years as president during which time he has been an indefatigable voice for the society and has played a major role in ensuring the vitality of the society and the reputation of our journal as a journal of record. Likewise, Trevor Cohen has contributed several decades to the committee and, together with his wife Heather, as a benefactor member. Both have made an immense contribution to the standing of the society and will be honoured with life membership at our forthcoming general meeting.

I have agreed to fill the vacant position of president, although not for 30 years. I am a first cousin of Trevor, a great-great-grandson of Michael Cashmore and a great-great-great-grandson of Samuel Moss Solomon who has spawned over 10,000 Australians. I have an abiding interest in Australian Jewish history and would like to attract some younger members to ensure that the society is revitalised and enduring. The influence of Jews in Australia from the time of the first fleet to the present is historically important and reflects part of the great Jewish contribution to civilisation.”

Our speaker for the evening will be Anna Epstein, who will speak about her new book “Melekh Ravitsh: The eccentric outback quest of an urbane Yiddish poet from Poland”.

The AGM will be held at 7:30pm on Thursday 12 March 2020, at Gandel House, 7 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North.

Gavin Gilbert

Howard Freeman

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