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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 3 Apr 2020 06:52 PM and ends Sat 4 Apr 2020 07:50 PM

Obituary for Ian Rockman

י"ח אלול ה' אלפים תשס"ח


With the untimely passing of Mr Ian Rockman, Jewish education in Australia and particularly the Adass Yisroel Mosdos Hachinuch have lost a loyal and respected friend, a dedicated supporter and an astute advisor. Klal Yisroel has will sorely miss this devoted Askan, a tireless and articulate advocate of Jewish Education and at the same time an unpretentious, friendly individual full of Ahavas Yisroel, who was always 'mekabel es kol haodom besever ponim yofos'.

Having had the privilege to see him at work for the Klal for over 20 years in his capacity as the Co-Chairman of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Day Schools (recently renamed as Australian Council of Jewish Schools), having attended dozens of meetings chaired by him, and watched him in the presence of government ministers, bureaucrats and politicians of all persuasions, it would have been impossible not to be impressed by this loyal and dedicated servant of Klal Yisroel who truly cared for every individual school and worked tirelessly on their behalf.

There were countless occasions that the Adass School would call him for his advice and help, which was always forthcoming. He was available day and night to advise and lend a hand and on most occasions gave precedence to the needs of the schools over his personal and business commitments. He travelled to Canberra numerous times on our behalf â€" as well as on behalf of other schools - and never gave up the battle. He was determined and tireless, even if it took years and years of writing submissions, lobbying and cajoling politicians and department heads to do the right thing by Jewish Schools.

An outstanding example of his dedicated and tireless perseverance is his tenacious campaign over the past ten years to right the anomalies which resulted in the “poorerâ€� Jewish schools being severely disadvantaged in changes to the Government funding formulae. Biseyata Dishmaya, he achieved excellent results â€" which were actually signed off in the last days of his life. Due to his efforts, the Adass Israel School, among other disadvantaged schools had its funding category recalculated resulting in vastly improved government funding. In his last days he took much pleasure when informed about the success of his efforts.

For over 2 decades, Ian worked tirelessly with State and Federal Ministers, Government departments and peak educational bodies for the benefit of all Jewish schools in Australia. This was done in his modest and unassuming way, with virtually no publicity or headlines. It would be rare to find another communal Askan who achieved even a fraction of Ianâ€TMs results that has had less publicity or public recognition. But this is exactly how he wished it to be with the only important thing being “tachlisâ€� - to do more and more on behalf of Jewish education. As someone was overheard saying at his levayeh: “He was a meâ€TMurav im habriyos, with a seichel hayoshor and a real Mentchâ€�.

It was only a few weeks ago there was to be a communal 'thank you' dinner in his honour to salute his decades of dedication and to mark his retirement from the Coordinating Committee. Regrettably this was canceled at the last moment due to his illness. Sadly, his desire for non-recognition was again fulfilled. However, the true acknowledgment and reward is now his as the Zechus for the education of thousands of Yiddishe kinderlech is credited to his Heavenly account.

May he be a Melitz Yosher for his family, especially his devoted wife, Mrs Beverly Rockman, who deserves our gratitude for so generously sharing him with us and welcoming us to their home as the Coordinating Committeeâ€TMs meeting place - often late into the night.

Ian Rockman had a special place in the hearts of the Adass community, and this was shown by the outpouring of Tehilim and Tefilos on his behalf by the Mispallelim in our Shul and by the Melamdim and students of our school. As a token of their respect, the boys have undertaken to study Mishnayos in his memory while the school board is planning to erect a plaque in Ian's honor.

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