Alex Dafner – Hon Secretary

Alex Dafner was born to Yiddish-speaking parents in Lodz, Poland in 1949 and studied Yiddish at the Lodz Peretz School. Arriving in Melbourne in 1959, he graduated from the Sholem Aleichem Yiddish Sunday School in 1968 and was a teacher there from 1972 to 1974. A founding member and producer of the Melbourne Yiddish (Youth) Theatre at the Kadimah in 1970, Alex has participated in many of the theatre’s productions.

Alex has worked as a teacher, trainer and educator at primary, secondary and tertiary levels in Australia and overseas. In 2003 he became the curriculum and syllabus writer of the newly instituted Year 11-12 VCE Yiddish subject and its first teacher, from 2004 to 2015 at Mount Scopus Memorial College, The King David School and later the Sholem Aleichem College Community Education Centre.

Alex also worked as a presenter and an executive producer of Yiddish Programs at SBS Radio between 1980 and 2013 and continues as a contributor to this day. He is also the producer and presenter of the Kadimah Yiddish Radio Show on Melbourne’s J-Air Jewish community radio station.

Alex has been a board member at the Kadimah since 1970 and was President from 1995 to 2015. He was also a Kadimah representative on the board of the Jewish Holocaust Centre from 1990 until 2015 and served as its vice president for a number of years. He currently leads a post-VCE Yiddish reading and conversation group, at the Kadimah National Library.