Reflections on Sydney Yom HaShoah Commemorations - 2019

On the afternoon of Sunday 28th April, Sarah Reid (MOTL Australia's Vice-President) attended the inaugural Youth HEAR Yom HaShoah commemoration held at the University of New South Wales. As per its official statement, Youth HEAR is "an organisation dedicated to bridging the gap between Australian youth and the memory of the Holocaust.  The passage of time ultimately transforms horrifying conflicts into mere historical events.  It is our firm belief that the best way to ensure that the memory of the Holocaust escapes this inevitable transformation is to engage with the stories of those who went through it on a personal and deeply intimate level.  Our organisation is committed to bringing these stories to Australian youth within a dynamic and engaging forum in the hope that we will learn from them and truly be able to say 'never again'."
This event had an incredible turnout, with over 360 youths aged between 18-30 in attendance.

Following this, in the evening Sarah attended the community Yom HaShoah commemoration in Sydney, which had the theme 'Memorials & Memories'.  The survivor and third generations were represented this year by Dr. Richard Haber and his grand-daughter Mili Haber who were both participants on MOTL in 2015.  Richard was one of the candle-lighters, and a video detailing his experience on MOTL and returning to the memorial sites was screened, in which he spoke very highly of the program.
Similarly to the Youth HEAR commemoration, the turnout at the community event was just as inspiring, with over 250 young people in attendance.  

The power of these events, and the great attendance they attracted is testament to the importance of the message they carry: that particularly in today's political and social climate, the atrocities of the Holocaust must not and cannot ever be forgotten!




(Sarah pictured with 2018 MOTL student alumni Adam, Sarah and Milla at the Youth HEAR commemoration)

Exciting news for MOTL Australia Alumni - April 2019

Kurt Brown, Samantha Khavin and Katie Brand - all Student MOTL participants from 2017, 2012 and 2011 respectively - have been selected to participate in the 2019 MOTL Emerging Leaders Conference, taking place in Krakow, Poland, during the program period, and will also take part in the March itself.  Of 21 representatives from all over the world, we are immensely proud to have had three of our Australian alumni selected - a true testament to the life-changing and life-affirming impact of the program, and its continued positive effect on our Australasian participants.

As a further illustration of this, we are proud to share a recent article published in the Australian Jewish News online, tracing Kurt Brown's greatly moving story and path towards MOTL and his Jewish identity.

You may access the article by clicking here.

United Nation Holocaust Remembrance Day - 27 January


On 27 January 2019, Emma Jaffa and Becky Abramovich, two participants from the 2018 Student program, took part in the United Nations' International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Melbourne, held at the Glen Eira Town Hall.

In her speech, Emma recounted on her MOTL experience, marching from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom HaShoah alongside 15,000 Jews while singing Hatikvah. 

The speech was followed by a performance of the Hebrew song, Arim Roshi, by Emma and Becky. They explained the significance of the song as being 'close to their hearts'. The last time the girls sang this song together was on MOTL 2018, when they sung it at the Yom HaZikaron commemoration to honour Israel's fallen. 

Emma Jaffa & Becky Abramovich during their performance.


Read Emma's Speech


MOTL Australia and Melton School Partnering

We are proud to announce that as of this semester, a course titled “The Holocaust as Reflected in Diaries and Memories” will be on offer in Melbourne and will be taught by Sue Hampel OAM (one of the founders of March of the Living Australia). This course will run every Wednesday from 1st August - 7th November 2018, 7:30-9:00pm. Temple Beth Israel (TBI). For more details and to register, please visit: www.tbi.org.au/melton-school 

March of the Living Through the Years



MOTL's recent fundraising campaign was on the theme of "Remembering the Past, Investing in the Future".  Our very own Adam Dostalek (YAMOTL 2014) created a wonderful video in which he interviewed past participants about their experiences of the program.  



MOTL 2017 Student participant Kiara Rosen-Tal made a video of the highlights of her MOTL experience. 

To view Kiara's video, please ckick here.

On July 5 2017, MOTL Co-Presidents Renny Rychter and Cedric Geffen were interviewed by Gary Max of J-Air.  

   To listen to their discussion of the MOTL 2018 program, please click here.



In April 2017, 29 Year 11 students and a 25-person adult group from Australia to Poland and Israel are attending this year’s March of the Living to Poland and Israel. Both groups’ journeys have been jam packed with emotion, education, inspiration, learning, understanding, remembering, spirituality, connection, unity, solidarity, and most importantly a commitment to making the world a better place. www.jwire.com.au/from-auschwitz-to-israel/


Young Adult MOTL 2014 alumnus Adam Dostalek has chosen the eve of Yom Hashoah 2016 to release his award-winning documentary "Never Forget: A March of the Living Story". Adam as Director and Anthony Salamon as Producer aim to bring their message to the world throgh various online streaming platforms and its own website (www.motlfilm.com).

With Yom Hashoah fast approaching, and world events bringing issues of tolerance and community to the forefront of the conscoiousness, Producer Anthony Salamon believes the time is right to make this film available to the masses.

"After having particpated in the film festival circuit last year and being recognised with various accolades, the time is right, now more than ever, to bring our message of hope, tolerance and peace to the global community", said Salamon.

On May 4th 2016, the eve of Yom Hashoah, join Director Adam Dostalek for a Google Hangout where you will be able to ask questions and hear his thoughts on the filmmaking process, as well as the issues contained within the film, and receive an exclusive link to see the film before it becomes available to the world.

On May 5th 2016, go to www.motlfilm.com where the film will become available for anyone to watch it for free, anytime.  You will also be able to make donations through the site to help spread the film and its message to people across the globe.

The purpose of the film is very specific and can best be told in the words of its Director: "The purpose of this film is so that Jews and non-Jews alike, from all around the world, can be made aware of the amazing opportunity that is March of the Living.  The Holocaust was not just a tragedy to Jews, but to all of mankind. As a young Jewish adult, I feel that it's up to our generation to make sure we don't forget waht happened and where we are now.  My goal is to inspire people from all around the world to want to participate in a program that is so important for our History and the Jewish Legacy."


MOTL was delighted to have the opportunity to meet Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, the Chief Curator of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and Marta Wróbel, the Director of Development for the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, who were visiting Australia at the invitation of Monash University.

Our guests discussed their work in setting up and running the amazing POLIN Museum in Warsaw, which some of our alumni have been fortunate enough to visit since it first opened in October 2014.

Photo courtesy Feygl Cylich


Australian Adult MOTL contingent in Poland - part of the Adult International MOTL group


Read the winning essay of our Creative Arts Competition


Jenna Bloom addresses MOTH Gen3 event

The event was about  storytellers and musical guests coming together to explore, grapple, celebrate, commemorate and challenge our relationship with The Holocaust, as the third generation. This is done through a ‘moth’ format, ‘telling true stories, live’. It is about recapturing the art of storytelling, arguably somewhat lost in the digital age, but finding its renaissance in pop culture! It is a unique and fresh way to learn from each other’s stories, rather than sit in a classroom or movie theatre.

News from the Simon Wiesenthal Center


Sue Hampel Given Australia Day Honour:

Adam Steinberg - MOTL 2013 Doctor - In the news:


Emmanuel Santos receives JCCV Community Recognition Award

Emmanuel Santos has accompanied the participants on March of the Living programme every year since 2004. With remarkable skill and sensitivity, he manages to capture the raw emotions of the participants, and at night, uploads these photos onto the web. Emmanuel's role has transcended that of a mere chronicler of experiences - he has been friend to the survivors; a story teller extraordinaire; a mentor and inspiration to participants and staff and a musician who reaches into the soul. His motivation and dedication to the cause is revealed when he writes:

"March of the Living is a sacred pilgrimage to honour and pay respect to the memory of a shattered and vanished world. I want to hear the voices of the living and the remnants of the communities that once were."

Through the lens of Emmanuel's discerning eye, we can hear these voices. His photos are a testament to his outstanding work.

Nina Bassat AM
President JCCV

For videos of March of the Living 2014

 Not yet available


Photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/motl2013/


Frank Lowy's moving speech at Auschwitz Birkenau 2013