Meet the Committee of Management - Shane Shmuel

We are excited to continue this segment where we introduce and feature individual members of the March of the Living Australia Committee of Management and get to know them better.

This month, we are excited to meet Shane Shmuel!

A little bit about Shane..... I come from a traditional Jewish family and have a very strong Jewish identity. My grandparents were all holocaust survivors from Poland. My father’s parents immigrated to Israel after the war and my mother’s parents immigrated to Melbourne, Australia. I grew up in Melbourne and am married with 2 kids who attend a Jewish day school.

Why did you want to join the MOTL Committee of Management?

My maternal grandfather (Zaida, I called him) used to talk to me a lot about the holocaust while I was growing up. I remember when he gave his testimony to the Shoah Foundation and promised my grandparents that I would continue telling their story.

In 2019, my father and I were fortunate to participate in MOTL. We also visited Bialystok, where my grandparents came from, using information from my grandfather's testimony as well as my own research which made the whole experience a unique and most special one. I feel that by joining the CoM, I can help others who want to go on the same journey.

It is our duty to help keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and be the voice for the victims and survivors who are no longer with us. The MOTL experience is a ‘journey for a lifetime’, and I am more than happy to discuss it with anyone thinking about embarking on this journey themselves.

What do you feel you can contribute to the organisation? I hope to bring my passion and experience to MOTL, and contribute to enabling others on their journey in some way. I also would like to introduce awareness of MOTL to the organisations in which I work.

What excites you about MOTL?

Having been on the program, there is no other way to go to Poland than with MOTL, in my opinion. You just cannot organise an itinerary like that on your own. Organising 3 days in Bialystok where my maternal grandparents were from was a monumental task, let alone organising the rest. The camaraderie of those on the program with you is difficult to describe, as is marching with thousands from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoa, which brought a real sense of emotion and pride.

I think there is an exciting opportunity to bring this program to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences, including corporate organisations as part of their values of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. The values and messaging of MOTL should resonate with all mankind to make the world a better place for our children, so that history does not repeat itself.

What are you looking forward to most in 2022?

Preparing for a return to in-person MOTL programs in 2023!

Thank you, Shane! We warmly invite you to learn more about each of our Committee of Management members by clicking on this link and scrolling down to the Member Bio section.