All in the family for LJCC role

By Jessica Elgot, August 18, 2011
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The Wieser brothers with the cultural centre's Richard Goldstein

The Wieser brothers with the cultural centre's Richard Goldstein

The London Jewish Cultural Centre is keeping it in the family when replacing its gedenkdiener - someone undertaking community work with Holocaust survivors as an alternative to Austrian military service.

Lukas Wieser, 21, is leaving the LJCC next week to pursue his legal studies in Vienna. He will be replaced by his younger brother Moritz, 18.

Mr Wieser said he worked on the centre's "Holocaust survivor speaker programme, organising talks in schools with survivors. This year we have reached 12,000 students and I've worked with 40 speakers, most of whom are over 80.

"I've built up a rapport with the survivors. I speak to some three or four times a week and I've been invited to dinner and to synagogue with them. It's so important to be friendly and to have empathy in this job."

Moritz Wieser said the word from his brother was that "I had to be extremely organised, and that it was hard work".

Richard Goldstein, director of the LJCC's Holocaust education department, said the centre had been taking students from Austria for 16 years."It's fiercely competitive to get a place. It's certainly not an easy option compared to going into the army."

    Last updated: 10:51am, August 18 2011