PhotoExhibit 3

Benzion Patkin

Benzion Patkin

1902 - 1984

Benzion Patkin and Dr. Herbert EvattThe late Benzion Patkin was born in Tartarsk, Russia in 1902 and arrived in Eretz Israel in 1924. He migrated to Australia in 1929 after marrying Hemda Shani, who outlived him by a good twenty years, living in Melbourne.

Patkin had an extraordinary talent for organisation, having co-founded the Australian Friends of the Hebrew University (1936), the Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (1936), initiated trade with Israel in 1936 and sponsored the first visit of the Eretz Israel Maccabi Soccer team to Australia. Patkin also was involved with tmnay other Jewish organisations and wrote several books including The Dunera Internees, and a book on Mount Scopus College. At the time of his death in the 1980s, he was writing book on Australian zionism. The book was never finished, though, since that time, Eliyahu Honig has written on Australian zionism in the 1930s and Bernard Hyams has written on the earlier period. There is room for more books on this topic. The Archive is in the process of copying Australian material preserved in the Central Zionist Archives. Unfortunately it is a very expensive exercise.

From 1932 Patkin continued to be a delegate to the Zionist conferences in Australia and overseas, being very much involved with that movement like his uncle Aaron Patkin, who was very active in the movement all his life and edited The Zionist.

Benzion Patkin was involved in trade as well as in civic life and several more Jewish organisations, and was a founder of Mount Scopus School.

His son, Dr.Michael Patkin is an ergonomist in South Australia and his daughter Nehama Patkin is an internationally known pianist and music teacher. Hemda Patkin died a few years ago at the age of 95.

Hemda Patkin (standing), wife of Benzion Patkin and Bertha Porush, wife of the late Rabbi Israel Porush.