'A tremendous legacy'

Tributes flow for Michael Marx

The community stalwart passed away late last year, aged 67, and has been remembered as a "natural leader".

From left: Robert Goot, Michael Marx and Peter Wertheim in 1998.
From left: Robert Goot, Michael Marx and Peter Wertheim in 1998.

Community stalwart, criminal lawyer and former president of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) Michael Marx passed away late last year, aged 67, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Born in Sydney in 1955, Marx was JBD president from 1992 to 1996. He continued his work to fight intolerance, antisemitism and racial hatred in the following years through the NSW Community Relations Commission, where he served as deputy chair.

He received the Order of Australia, the Centenary Medal and the Community Relations Commission Medal in recognition of his work.

Delivering the eulogy prepared by his family, Rabbi David Rogut said Marx was a “natural leader”.

“This kind and courteous man who loved his family was at the same time a ferocious advocate for his clients … He trained many other lawyers and passed on his sense of commitment to providing strong legal representation to people from all walks of life,” he said.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) co-CEO Peter Wertheim, who served as Marx’s vice-president at the NSW JBD, said his record of service to the Jewish and wider communities was “exemplary”.

“I have no doubt that he would have had much more to give had his life not been tragically cut short by illness,” he said.

“He was an innovative and strategic thinker, compassionate and quick-witted.”

JBD president David Ossip said, “Michael was a wonderful leader of the board and the community more broadly. He has left a tremendous legacy and we are indebted to him for his service.

“We wish Michael’s family a long life and much comfort at this difficult time. May his memory be a blessing.”

Former NSW Labor frontbencher and NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair Walt Secord said, “Michael had four great loves – his wife and family; the Jewish community; the law; and the NSW Labor Party.

“His contribution to Jewish communal affairs and community harmony will be greatly missed.”

Close friend Steven Lewis said, “From our very first encounter at university, Michael has been a mentor, friend and confidant.

“Michael’s presidency of the NSW JBD was ground-breaking … Those of us who worked with him on the executive learnt so much from the way he was able to balance competing interests and always come out with a solution with which everyone was happy.

“The community has lost a great leader but for those of us who knew Michael personally, we have lost a dear friend.”

Marx is survived by his wife Francine, sons Daniel and Benjamin and stepson Jonathan.

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