Yiddish journalist Bennett dead at 88


A journalist whose name was synonymous with the Yiddish press in Australia for almost 60 years has died.

Sam (Shmuel) Bennett died Sunday. He was 88.

Bennett’s association with Die Oistralisheh Yiddisheh Nayess began in 1939 , just weeks after he arrived in Melbourne on the Otranto, the last ship to bring Jews out of Poland before the outbreak of war.

Bennett wrote a weekly column in Yiddish titled “Shwartz Of Weiss” (In Black And White) which was believed to be one of the longest-running newspaper columns in Australia.

He served under seven editors and wrote for the Yiddish paper until it closed in December 1995 due to dwindling circulation.

Even after the closure of the Nayess, Bennett contributed to the Forverts in New York.

In 2005, in a supplement to mark the 110th anniversary of the Australian Jewish News, Bennett, then aged 86, wrote: “The Yiddish paper became for many [Holocaust survivors] a balm of hope, a debut for local writers and a forum for the established.”

He was also involved in the Jewish Holocaust Museum in Melbourne as well as Caulfield Hebrew Congregation, one of the largest synagogues in the city.

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