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Remembering David Burstin

The Jewish Labour Bund and SKIF are deeply saddened by the passing of David Burstin.


David was Born - September 1937 - his father Sender Burstin, mother Fayge Burstin.

David has two older brothers Ben and Morris.

The family lived in 639 Lygon St Carlton and later David moved to Kew, Balwyn, Toorak, and finally home was in Sinclair St near to the organisations to which he devoted many years of his time and energy. His father Sender Burstin was a founder of the Bund and I.L. Peretz Yiddish School in Melbourne.


He married Doris Nusbaum in March 1962. Doris later became principal of both the I.L Peretz school and Sholem Aleichem school. Doris taught Yiddish at Mount Scopus College for a number of years. Doris and David have two children; Michael and Naomi. Both his children and grandchildren - Michelle, Jack, Ty and Sienna - attended SKIF; Michael, his son, was a lager forzitser of three SKIF camps (1985-1988).


David Burstin
David and Danielle Charak at SKIF Camp 1952

David was one of the SKIFistn who attended the first SKIF Camp in Melbourne, in 1950-1, in Angelsea. David writes in an article about SKIF..." I must say thank you to the SKIF for influencing my life. It is hard to imagine where I would be now if it wasn’t for the SKIF. Would I have been involved in the Sholem Aleichem College? Would I have been involved in the Kadimah? Would I have had such a great marriage? Mazeltov to the SKIF in Melbourne"


David followed in his father’s footsteps as a leader and contributor to various Melbourne Yiddish and Jewish institutions.

As a helfer in SKIF, he was a Lager Forzitser of 10 SKIF Camps 1956/7 till 1966/7 (a record - see below). He was popular, so much so, that a SKIF song was written about David. David and Leon Goldman formed a strong friendship running SKIF camps together that were highly successful.


Following his time as a Helfer, he ran and organised the Yugnt Bund (YB) and SKIF Fraynt as its chairman and prolific camp organiser. Many Tsukunft leaders who attended YB meetings did so because Doris supplied a supper of cakes and biscuits; these assisted in fuelling constructive discussion about SKIF camp organisation.


David spent many years on the committees and as President of I.L. Peretz and Sholem Aleichem College.


He was heavily involved in the AJAX Football Club, where he was a tenacious rover and it could be said that he lived life the way that he played football.


David was also a tireless committee member and treasurer of the Kadimah.


Fundraising for these institutions was a key talent and speciality. Many hundreds and thousands of dollars were raised to support the above named institutions.


In addition to his contribution to the community, David and his brothers became directors of Burlon Hosiery Mills - established by their father. It was a successful business. Several SKIFistn were able to earn some “pocket money” working there during school holidays all the way up until the late 1990s.


David was a passionate, energetic, prodigious campaigner and supporter of organisations which helped foster Yiddish cultural life in Melbourne. He had a wry sense of humour; a passionate Carlton supporter, he praised Sam Lipski and Arnold Zable for writing about Jewish life in Carlton and then tempered his praise because of their support for Collingwood football club.


David will certainly be remembered as a builder of Yiddish institutions in Melbourne. His family is proud and humbled by his achievements.


We wish Doris, David’s children -Naomi and Michael - and their families long life.


Koved zayn ondenk.




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