A memorial dedicated to Victorian Jewish soldiers who served in World War I, II and other conflicts was unveiled at Burnett Gray Gardens, Ripponlea on 15 November 2015 as part of local Remembrance Day commemorations.
This memorial honours local residents who lost their lives such as Dalbert Hallenstein and his cousins, and others such as Dr Keith Levi, son of St Kilda Councillor Joseph Levi, and Norman Brand, who attended Elwood Central School and enlisted in Ripponlea for service in World War II. Dalbert Hallenstein was a young St Kilda resident who lost his life on the Western Front in 1918. He grew up at Woonsocket in Barkly Street, St Kilda, close to his Michaelis cousins at nearby Linden in Acland Street.
Burnett Gray MLA was the first serving councillor in Victoria to enlist in World War I, a connection that is enhanced with the positioning of a war memorial in the Gardens named in his honour. He was invalided back to Australia in 1920 and, while still in hospital, was re-elected to the St Kilda Council. Burnett became Mayor of St Kilda in 1922. Gray served on St Kilda Council for 40 years and was mayor four times. As well as the Gardens, an infant welfare centre was named after him in recognition of his contribution to the community
Commissioned by the Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia (VAJEX Australia), this memorial is a significant community and cultural asset and has been initiated by local residents as part of Anzac centenary commemorations. The memorial project has been supported by the Federal Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program. VAJEX Australia has generously donated this memorial to the City of Port Phillip.
A plaque honouring the victims of Kristallnacht has been added to the monument.