Gertrud Bodenwieser – Trailblazing Dancer

Gertrude Bodenwieser revolutionised the modern dance scene in Australia. Fleeing the horrors of the Nazi assault on Europe, she made Australia her home in 1939 and the ballet company she founded has been described as “the first truly influential modern dance company in Australia”.

A Mothers Day Toast

The stereotype of the Jewish mother has bedevilled society for generations. This post honours seven extraordinary Jewish Australian women who, as well as having children, contributed to Australian society in other siginifcant ways.

Julia Levy – Philanthropist

Julia Levi, known as the “Grand Woman of Sydney Jewry” gave to every worthy cause and whilst she supported so many institutions, her greatest love was the New South Wales Board of Jewish Education. Even when her husband, Lewis, passed away, Julia continued her philanthropic work and gave over half the income left to her.

Rose Shappere – Fearless nurse, Jewish adventuress

Ballarat-born Rose Shappere, had a serious taste for adventure. The young Jewish nurse resigned her position at Adelaide Hospital, made her way to South farica and attached herself first to a Boer commando unit, and then to the British volunteers, travelling alone throughout the country by rail and steamer to reach the front lines at Ladysmith.
Her persistence paid off, and whilst she saw many nurses being turned away by the British authorities, she was determined to serve and her efforts to do so were rewarded with success.

Goldfields and Immigration

The Jewish Ladies’ Benevolent Loan and Visiting Society formed a committee that eventually became the Jewish Emigration Society. Donations came in, and in June of 1853, an advertisement was printed announcing the Society’s intention of sending 20 single Jewish female emigrants to Australia. What happened next was quite unexpected!