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The Joe and Eve Major Trust

This Trust was made possible by a generous bequest by Eve Major.  It was established in 1996 to assist members of Temple Sinai, the Wellington Progressive Jewish Congregation, to undertake tertiary education of their choice.​ Applications for a grant from the trust are open twice a year, in January and in June, the submission date is in the form.

​Joe and Eve Major were born in Hungary. They came to Wellington, New Zealand, in 1938, to escape Nazi persecution. Their interests were largely cultural and intellectual and they placed great value on education. When Temple Sinai was established in 1958, Joe and Eve were among its earliest members. They were regular attendees at Shabbat and Holy Day services, as well as social and educational functions. With no family in New Zealand and having no children, Joe and Eve regarded and valued the members of Temple Sinai as their family.

Joe Major was a scientist and on his arrival in New Zealand found work at the DSIR where he did research and edited scientific publications. Eve Major began her working life as a seamstress and later worked in several government departments, progressing to a position of responsibility. Both Joe and Eve were proud of their Hungarian background and were active members of the Wellington Hungarian Club. Joe was an accomplished linguist, with a passion for Esperanto. He had a vision of a universal language as a foundation of universal peace. They travelled extensively, often to overseas conferences of Esperantists. Joe died in 1993 at the age of 92 and Eve the following year

We owe a debt of gratitude to Eve for her very generous bequest to Temple Sinai and for her provision for this tertiary education trust.

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