Last Jewish school in Wellington, NZ, closes

One of the former pupils of Moriah College with some of the buttons collected (Photo: Moriah College)

One of the former pupils of Moriah College with some of the buttons collected (Photo: Moriah College)

The last Jewish school in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, has closed.

Moriah College, a school for 5 to 13-year-olds held its final graduation on Friday, citing a lack of resources as the reason for closing. The school board said in August it had “no option” but to close the school, which had fewer than 20 pupils, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

The two graduating students, one Jewish, one non-Jewish, who are now moving on to secondary school, were presented with a Tanach each by the Wellington Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi. Farewell messages from former teachers, pupils and parents, as well as the school’s founders were read out.

The college, which at its peak had 60 members, was best known for its button project. The school collected 1.5 million buttons, each representing the death of one child in the Holocaust. The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand has now formally taken over the project of building the memorial to house the buttons.

Last updated: 4:23pm, December 10 2012