Inside AJHS: Personal Papers of Yehuda Feher


Kate Jegat - Professional Placement Program, Intern, School of Information & Communication Studies Masters Program

My time as an intern at The Australian Jewish Historical Society has given me a greater appreciation of how archives provide a link between the past and the present and hold the key to Australian Jewry’s cultural memory. The personal papers of Yehuda Feher, a notable Zionist leader and activist in Australia from the 1940s and later, showcased the value of preserving information that can be passed on for the use and benefit of future generations.

Yehuda Feher
Yehuda Feher

As an intern, I was entrusted with the task of recording the details of Yehuda Feher’s personal papers and I was fascinated by the idea that each report, news clipping, pamphlet and invitation was part of a story waiting to be told. I learnt that from an early age, Yehuda Feher exhibited a fervent passion for Israel and its significance to Jewish identity. This passion led him to play a pivotal role in the Zionist youth movement where he dedicated his time and resources to the idea of promoting the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Israel and developing a deep connection to Jewish identity and heritage within Jewish children and adolescents. This is reflected in his significant collection of Australian Zionist Youth magazines including Halapid, Habonim Shomrim Bulletin and The Young Zionist.

Yehuda Feher’s influence within the Jewish community has been profound. As a respected community leader, he leveraged his expertise and connections to advocate for Israel. Through his involvement in organisations such as the Zionist Federation of Australia, Yehuda Feher has championed the Zionist cause and fostered greater collaboration between the Australian and Israeli communities. However Yehuda Feher’s interests extended beyond Zionism, he showed an enthusiasm for global affairs and collected clippings that captured significant events such as the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (Camp David) 1978-1979; Palestine Crisis 1947-48; Atlantic Charter 1945; Nuremberg Trials 1945; War Crimes Trials including Professor Eugene Kamenka and Professor Julius Stone.

As I reflect on my time as an intern, I have immense gratitude for having had the opportunity to work so closely with a seasoned archivist such as Sabrina Elias who generously shared her knowledge and expertise. I also have a sense of accomplishment and pride having played a small role in safeguarding the legacy of Yehuda Feher and the enduring impact he has had on advancing the cause of Zionism in Australia. Ultimately this experience has left an indelible mark on me, shaping not only my career aspirations but also my understanding of the importance of preserving the past to inform the future.

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