THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH EX-SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN (AJEX) is dedicated to the remembrance of Jewish men and women who died while serving with the Armed Forces of the Crown. Every year since 1930 AJEX has held a Parade and Ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. We travel nationally and abroad to participate in commemoration services and we created and continue to maintain the Jewish National War Memorial (the only one in Europe) at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire.
We are the only Jewish charitable organisation totally dedicated to the welfare needs of Armed Service Veterans and dependant relatives. AJEX funds an annuity scheme disbursing financial assistance on the main Jewish festivals during the year to enable recipients to enjoy traditional holiday observance.
AJEX also offers special one-off grants to provide mobility aids, household repairs, refurbishment, etc. to the elderly. Emergency finance for domestic utilities and medical needs also provides for a comprehensive care package. We work with all major military related and recognised Ex-Service charities.
Our Education Programme involves a team of veterans acting as speakers who use the school assemblies and lunchtime periods to deliver a short but powerful message to the students. A number of mobile exhibitions also tour the country.
In recent years we created the Jewish Military Museum, currently in Hendon, to honour and perpetuate the memory of Jews who have died serving their country.
All this presents a huge financial burden, which is becoming more and more difficult to carry and where the Jewish community can help substantially.
The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX) was founded in 1929 to serve the needs of Jewish veterans of the First World War (1914-18). Fifty-five thousand Jews had served with the British forces during the war, of whom five were awarded the Victoria Cross.
Sixty thousand Jews served in WWII (1939-45) and three were awarded the Victoria Cross.
Time has reduced the original membership of AJEX. It now includes Ex-National Servicemen many who served in Korea, Kenya, Malaysia, Cyprus, Iraq, The Falklands and Afghanistan. Lord Sterling is the current President of the Association. The organisation continues to follow the basic tenets of its founders; Remembrance for the sacrifices of the past; Help for those in need in the present; Education for the future.
We remember our fallen comrades with Annual Ceremonies at the AJEX Memorial at the National War Memorial Arboretum, the AJEX Annual Parade and Remembrance Ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall as well as many other ceremonies around the country.
The Annual Remembrance Parade and Ceremony at the Cenotaph is attended by UK Jewish veterans and those from around the world. It is conducted by the Chief Rabbi and has been graced over the years by many distinguished reviewing officers, among them HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Duke of Kent, The Countess Mountbatten of Burma, HRH Princess Alexandra, Prince Michael of Kent and many high-ranking Officers of the Armed Forces.
AJEX founded the Jewish Military Museum, telling stories of Jews who have fought for Britain over the last three centuries. We have set up a Record of Honour, which lists over 60,000 names of Jewish members of the Armed Forces, who have served since 1939. It can be accessed via our website www.ajex.org.uk
In our multicultural society it is more important than ever to interact with our neighbours. AJEX runs its education programme which goes into both Jewish and non-Jewish schools to talk about Remembrance, citizenship and duty, as well as World War I and World War II.