1947 – 1997

Judy was born in Melbourne on 16 June 1947. She used to joke that she was “Made in China” and this was true because our parents lived in Shanghai from January 1939 until they stepped foot on Australian shores in January 1947. Some months later Judy was born in the Airlie Hospital in Ivanhoe. Originally from Vienna, our parents had escaped to Shanghai China, but not before having watched Hitler march into Vienna and the cheering crowds that greeted him.

Our father Ernst Skall had heard Jabotinsky speak in Vienna and became an admirer and an adherent. Our mother's brother Kurt Seiden who arrived in Shanghai aged 15, was one of the Betar leaders there. So not surprisingly our parents decided that of the Jewish Zionist youth movements in Melbourne we would be sent to Betar.

Judy loved Betar camps and was a popular young girl. She loved people and had a warm and winning nature. She eventually became a madricha and served as secretary to the Melbourne mifkada. She particularly enjoyed singing and Israeli dancing and took the latter up again in later years. At age 19 she worked together with our parents in their dress shops in Flinders Street and increasingly took on the role of managing these. They became her responsibility when our parents travelled to Israel for the first time in 1969.

Before this, however, Judy married Imi Weinstein and she became Shomer Shabbes, observing kashrut more strictly than we had in our parental home. Judy and Imi had three sons – Simon, Jeremy (aka Jezza) and Marc (aka Mooky). Were she to see them today, with their young families, she would be very proud. Sadly though, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 47 and died three years later on Simchat Torah. Every year since her death her sons have organised a kiddush and give a d'var Torah to honour her memory. Judy will be remembered for offering her time and ear to anyone who needed it, and this she did with empathy and compassion.

Judy Skall Weinstein