AJHS Timeline

Where was the first synagogue opened in NSW? When was the Hakoah Club bombed? Who was Australia’s second Jewish Governor-General?

The Australian Jewish Historical Society maintains a dynamic timeline of Jews and the Jewish experience in Australia since the start of European Colonisation in 1788, highlighting major events and figures in the participation of the Jewish people in Australia history, and the development of its community.

Jewish History in Australia can be explored via the Timeline at a high level or in detail, extracting important dates by subject area, including: Politics, Military, Synagogues, Events, etc.

Special thanks to Harvey Cohen.

First Fleet arrives at Sydney Cove. Of the 751 convicts transported to the fledgling NSW colony, at least 8 were Jews.

Over a thousand people of Jewish descent estimated to have been sent to Australia as convicts during the next 60 years.

Joseph Levy, the first Jew to die in NSW
John Harris, first policeman in colony of NSW

Proposed to Judge-Advocate David Collins to establish a night watch, 'to be selected among the convicts for the purpose to stem the frequent commission of offences in the settlement'.

8 Jewish convicts at short-lived settlement at Sorrento in Port Phillip Bay.
Hobart, Tasmania is established as a penal colony at Sullivan’s Cove, Van Dieman’s Land. Of the orginal 270 convicts, 8 are Jewish.

Jewish convicts arrived from the then failing colony of Sorrento on Port Phillip Bay to Sullivans Cove – now the city of Hobart. 

Governor Bligh deposed by Lt. Col. George Johnson

Johnson's common-law wife was Esther Abrahams of the First Fleet who was Jewish.

First free Jewish male settler – Isaac Leo Lyon

Concealed his identity at the time.

First free Jewish woman settler – Esther Isaacs.

Another contender is Ann Bocherah, the free wife of Solomon Bocherah, a Second Fleet convict arriving in mid 1790. She was the second Jew to arrive free after Rosanna Abrahams, the infant daughter of Esther Abrahams born in Newgate prison.

First Jewish communal organization in Australia, the Chevra Kaddisha (Burial Society), is formed in Sydney.
First Jewish services conducted in private homes by emancipist Joseph Marcus

One of the few convicts with Jewish knowledge

Merchant Phillip J Cohen arrives in Australia. Convenes regular religious services at his Sydney home

Cohen is authorized by the British Chief Rabbi Solomon Hirschel to perform Jewish marriages. Cohen superintended the formal establishment of the Sydney Hebrew Congregation in 1832.

Michael Hyam arrived in NSW (Hyam Beach)

Michael Hyam received a grant of 41 acres of waterfront land in 1859 and the beach and town arenamed after him. 

Solomon Levey independently finances Thomas Peel’s private venture, the Swan River (free-immigrant) Colony. This eventually becomes the Colony of Western Australia.

Levey trusted Peel as he was 2nd cousin of British P.M., Sir Robert Peel, and that Peel deigned to become the partner of a Jewish former convict. Levey paid dearly for this misjudgment.

First organised services in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) are convened.

Held at the Argyle Street, Hobart home of wealthy emancipist Judah Solomon.

Reverend Aaron Levi arrives in Sydney.

Sefer Torah purchased by subscription. Services become more regular.

Maitland Synagogue opens

Substantial synagogue erected 1879. Closed 1898.

Earliest Jewish marriage, of John and Rebecca Moses, is officiated by P.J. Cohen.

Ketubah still exists.

First formal congregation is formed in Sydney, holding services in rooms above John Rowell’s pharmacy in George Street.
Bridge Street Synagogue in Sydney is consecrated

First synagogue in Australia was opened in rented premises

First Jewish Cemetery in Sydney established at Sandhills Cemetery in Surry Hills.

Resumed in 1901 for Central Railway Station.

First Jewish marriage in the colony by P J Cohen of Moses Joseph and Rosetta Nathan

Jewish convicts were married prior, but such marriages had been performed by the Anglican ministers, hence historians do not accept these as Jewish weddings.

Joseph Barrow Montefiore elected president of first Jewish congregation in NSW.

Cousin of Sir Moses Montefiore

Hebrew Philanthropic and Orphan Society established
Barnett Levey officially opens, Theatre Royal. It is Australia’s oldest theatrical institution.

Burnt down in 1840.

Jacob Montefiore is among the 11 Commissioners who establish the settlement of Adelaide.

One of the venture's backers is Sir Moses Montefiore.

First minister in Sydney, Rev. Michael Rose, arrives.
Port Phillip Bay Association is established (later becoming the Melbourne settlement)
Jewish services are initiated in Melbourne for the High Holy days.
“Jewboy” bushranger Edward Davis active in Hunter Valley.
Foundation stone laid for first purpose built synagogue in Australia on York Street Sydney.

Synagogue in use 1844-1877

George Moss puBlishes a Sydney edition of The London Voice of Jacob. Australia’s first Jewish Newsletter.


Arrival of George Barron Goodman, first professional photographer in Sydney
Hobart synagogue is consecrated.

Constructed on land donated by Judah Solomon. Now the oldest synagogue in Australia and is still in use

First congregation forms in South Australia at the Adelaide home of Burnett Nathan for High Holy days observance.
Launceston Synagogue consecrated
First of just three dedicated Jewish cemeteries in NSW was opened in Maitland.

The others were Goulburn (1848) and Raphael's Ground (1867).

Premiere of ‘Don John of Austria’ by Isaac Nathan. first opera to be written, composed and produced in Australia.
First synagogue in Melbourne is constructed on Bourke Street.

Victorian Jewish population increases from 200 in 1848 to 3000 1861. 

Lionel Samson is elected to Western Australia’s Legislative Chamber, becoming the first Jew to be elected to an Australian Parliament.

Over 50 Jewish MPs served during the colonial period. 1849-1900

Adelaide’s first Synagogue completed on the corner of Rundle Street and Synagogue Place.
Australia’s first Jewish Day Schools open in Sydney and Melbourne with support from respective colonial governments.

When government funding ended, both schools disband: in Melbourne in 1872 and Sydney in 1880.

Jewish immigrants arrive in Ballarat and Bendigo with Gold Rush.
Ballarat Jewish community founded.
Eureka Stockade, Ballarat stormed by troops. Teddy Thonen, a German Jew was the first of 24 miners killed defending the stockade.

Earlier Manastra Flatow, another German Jew, was one of those arrested in connection with the burning of the Eureka Hotel.

Original Ballarat Synagogue dedicated.

Wooden construction.

East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation founded.

After separating from the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation.

Sir Saul Samuel, magistrate, merchant and pastoralist is the first Jew to be a minister of the Crown

Served numerous terms as NSW Treasurer and Post Master-General.

Macquarie Street Synagogue is established.

Due to a split in the Sydney Congregation

Ballarat, oldest mainland synagogue still in use, is erected.
Rev A. B. Davis appointed Minister of York Street Synagogue in Sydney
Accidental death of Isaac Nathan “the Father of Australian Music” in Sydney

1790-1864. Australia's first tram fatality

Fifteen Jewish families form the first congregation in Brisbane.

They meet in rented auction rooms and a Masonic temple pending the consecration of its first synagogue in 1886.

Certified Denominational School – First Jewish Day School in NSW

Operated till 1882 when Government aid for denominational schools stopped.

Australian Israelite published by Solomon Joseph in Melbourne
First Australian Beth Din is established.

Headed by Rabbi Samuel Herman of Ballarat.

New synagogue dedicated in Albert Street for the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation

Now oldest in Melbourne and only synagogue in the CBD.

Great Synagogue on Elizabeth St. Sydney is consecrated.

Replaces York St synagogue

First permanent Jewish newspaper the Jewish Herald established in Melbourne
Maitland Synagogue established – the first country synagogue in NSW
Eastern European immigration to Australia after pogroms.
Newtown Synagogue opens

Second oldest ongoing synagogue in NSW - 3rd in Australia after Hobart and Launceston. Religious services at the home of Abram & Naomi Solomon

Margaret Street Synagogue in Brisbane opens.

Foundation stone laid 7 July 1885

Sir Julian Salamons appointed Chief Justice of New South Wales.

Declined to be sworn in "because of the hostility of the then current members of the bench"

Jewish community formed in Freemantle WA.
Sir Moses Montefiore Home opens in Dowling St Sydney.
Perth Hebrew Congregation is established.

Synagogue opened in 1897

Eliezer Montefiore is appointed the first director of The Art Gallery of New South Wales.

A founding trustee and president of the trustees.

Chovevei Zion (Lovers’ of Zion Society) active in Sydney.

3 years before the first Zionist Conference in Basle, Switzerland.

Aaron Blashki establishes the Jewish Aid Society to provide interest-free loans to poor Jews.
Australian Jewish News is first published in Sydney under the name, the Hebrew Standard.

Editor Alfred Harris

Synagogue constructed at Coolgardie, on the Western Australian goldfields.
Rabbi Israel Isidore Bramson lived in Sydney from around 1898 to 1902.

Not affiliated to any particular congregation and performed a number of Chupahs.

Vaiben Louis Solomon serves as the Premier of South Australia for one week. He is the first and only Jewish head of an Australian executive government.

Term: 1.12.1899-8.12.1899

Sidney Myer opens his first store in Bendigo from which would grow the eponymous national retail institution.
Federation of Australia. Four Jews among the first Members of Federal Parliament

Isaac Isaacs, Vaiben Louis Solomon, Elias Solomon, Pharez Phillips, in the House of Representatives.

Helena Rubinstein migrates from Poland to Coleraine Victoria
Kishinev Pogrom Protest

Protest (at the Czarist policies that promoted this pogrom) meeting held at Sydney Town Hall by concerned citizens of all faiths. Speakers included Abraham Pearlman, storekeeeper in Boggabri (NSW), born in Kishinev.

Isaac Isaacs appointed Commonwealth Attorney General
Broken Hill Synagogue opened

Closed 1962

Australian census records 17,287 Jews
Kadimah established in Melbourne by Eastern European Jews

Zionist and Yiddish activities.

Bankstown Synagogue opens

Closed 1991. Subject to Arson attack.

Central Synagogue , Sydney established in Paddington

Dowling and Napier Streets Paddington

WWI commences when the Austro-Hungarian Empire declares war on Serbia.

13 per cent of the Jewish community enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces, compared to 9.2 per cent of the general population.

Rabbi David Freedman of WA becomes the first Jewish Chaplain in WWI
Colonel John Monash leads Australian troops of the 4th Infantry Brigade at Gallipoli.

57 Jewish ANZACS were killed in action at Gallipoli.

Sir John Monash is charged with the withdrawal from Gallipoli

Only General to survive unscathed

Leonard Keysor AIF First Battalion at Gallipoli awarded VC

For the 'most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty' at Battle of Lone Pine

Issy Smith (Ishroulch Shmeilowitz) of the 1st Manchester Regiment is awarded VC.

For bravery and gallantry in voluntarily rescued wounded men during the second batlle of Ypres. Later Member for Melbourne in the Australian House of Representatives.

Legislative Assembly had to close on Yom Kippur because both Speaker John Jacob Cohen and Deputy Speaker Daniel Levy were Jewish.

Jews in New South Wales constitute only 0.4% of the population.

General Sir John Monash becomes Commander in Chief of the AIF.

Leads the Australian Corps through the victorious battles of the closing stages of the war.

Newtown Synagogue is consecrated.

Australia's first suburban congregation

British official, Sir Mathew Nathan, serves as Governor of Queensland.

1920-25. Earlier Governor of Gold Coast, Hong Kong & Natal, Chairman of the British G.P.O. and Chairman of the Inland Revenue.

Council of Jewish Women (CJW) is founded in Sydney by Dr Fanny Reading.

Later became the NSW branch of the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia, NCJWA.

Sir John Monash opens the Maccabean Hall (now the Sydney Jewish Museum).
First fore-runner to the annual interstate Jewish Sporting Carnivals – a cricket match between NSW and Victoria – is held.
Harry Lea (Levy) opens the first Darrell Lea shop opens in Sydney’s Haymarket
Zionist Federation of Australia is established.

Sir John Monash is elected its first President

Newcastle Hebrew Congregation (Bet Yisra’el) opens
Liberal (Reform Judaism) movement begins in Australia with establishment of Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne.
Death of Sir John Monash.

Estimated 250,000 mourners attended state funeral.

Dr Jacob Jona, first Jew to be elected President of a VFL/AFL football club. (Hawthorn Football Club (1931-1949)

Other Jewish presidents of VFL Clubs in the 1930's were Dr D. Berman of North Melbourne; Reuben Sackville of St Kilda, Ewart Joseph of Fitzroy.

Formation of several fascist organizations in Australia including the New Guard, the Douglas Social Credit party (forerunner of League of Rights), the Australia First party


Sir Issac Isaacs sworn in as the first Australian born and first Jewish Governor General.
Nazi party of Australia is established
Kimberley Scheme to settle Jewish refugees in WA is established by Freeland League

Led by Isaac Nachman Steinberg Does not eventuate

Australian Judean Sports Council is established to coordinate Jewish sport nationally.

Later renamed the Australian Maccabi council, and in 1957 Maccabi Australia.

Sir Isaac Isaacs lays foundation stone for Temple Beth Israel, St Kilda

First Liberal/Progressive Synagogue built in Australia.

Rabbi Herman Sanger, of Temple Beth Israel, Melbourne, conducts first Liberal service in Sydney

Aids the establishment of Temple Emanuel (now Emanuel Synagogue)

First Liberal synagogue in NSW, Temple Emanuel, is founded in Woollahra.

Now known as Emanuel Synagogue

Evian Conference on Jewish Refugees.

Australian representative, White says Australia would not undertake "any scheme of large-scale foreign migration". Sydney Morning Herald editorial condemns White's speech.

Australian Jewish Historical Society founded in Sydney
Australian government allots 15,000 visa’s for “victims of oppression”. 5,000 annually for three years

7000-9000 Jews able to take up the visas under the "Victims of Oppression" allotment before the outbreak of World World II stopped the program.

Australian Aborigines League delegation attempts to present a resolution ‘condemning the persecution of Jews and Christians in Germany’ to the German Consul-General in Melbourne.

Led by William Cooper

Hakoah (Soccer) Club is established in Sydney.

The club went on to be four time National Soccer League champions.

Isaac Steinberg of the Freeland League visits Australia.

Proposal for settling Jewish refugees in the Kimberley region of Western Australia is a public issue.

HMT Dunera arrives in Sydney carrying Jewish refugees from Axis countries.

568 Refugees incarcerated as enemy aliens in camp at Hay.

Last of 8,586 Jewish refugees enter Australia under AJWS sponsorship 1938-40.
Bialik College opens in North Carlton.

Now in East Hawthorn

MV Struma crammed with 750 Jewish refugees refused landing in Palestine, was towed into the Black Sea where it sank, with just one survivor (David Stoliar).

A critical event in Australian Jewish history as British apologists, notably Sir Isaac Isaacs, lost all community credibility.

Founding of NSW Jewish Board of Deputies

Forerunner was the NSW Jewish Advisory Board founded in 1932 and comprising representatives of synagogues only

Sydney’s first Jewish Kindergarten – North Bondi Hebrew School and Kindergarten, opens.

Forerunner of Moriah College.

Australian Labor government establishes a sub-committee on immigration.

Recommends that post-war Australia should foster immigration from Britain and the European continent

B’nai B’rith Sydney Lodge is inaugurated.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry established.
Julius Stone, Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law at the University of Sydney, publishes “Stand Up and Be Counted”,

Open letter to Sir Isaacs Isaacs, who sought to lead a crusade against Zionism.

17,768 Jewish refugees enter Australia under auspices of the Australian Jewish Welfare Society (AJWS).

Jewish migrants are excluded from all Australian government sponsored programs. 1947-52

B’nai B’rith Melbourne Lodge is inaugurated.
Arthur Calwell becomes Minister for Immigration in the Chifley government.

Radical changes are implemented in immigration policy to allow for massive post war migration to Australia. Continues under the Menzies governments.

Malka Leifer found guilty of 18 charges relating to the sexual abuse of two sisters between 2003 and 2007.

Leifer was former head of religion and principal of Adass Israel School and fled Melbourne for Israel in March 2008

Arrival of Nazi War Criminals in Australia as part of the IRO program

including Konrad Kalejs, who serves as immigration officer in Bonegilla from 1950-53

Sholem Alecihem College begins as a Sunday school, becoming a primary school in 1975.
North Shore Synagogue opens
First Jewish School in Victoria, Mt Scopus War Memorial College, opens.

Established in St. Kilda Road with 143 students.

Israeli Consulate-general established in Sydney.

This was "the first diplomatic mission of Israel for 2000 years".

Yeshiva Beth Rivkah Colleges open in East St. Kilda.
New Zealand recognizes the State of Israel.
Inaugural meeting of the ACT Jewish Community.

Dr Ronald Mendelsohn elected first president.

Moriah College is established in Bellevue Hill, Sydney.
Sydney Einfeld was elected president of the Australian Jewish Welfare and Relief Societies.

1961 Federal Member for Phillip. 1965 State member for Bondi. Was responsible for establishing Australia’s consumer laws

Iconic photographer, Helmut Newton, holds his first exhibition with Wolfgang Sievers at the Federal Hotel in Collins Street, Melbourne

Ultimately launching him to worldwide acclaim.

Australia’s answer to Charlie Chaplin, comic Roy ‘Mo’ Rene dies in Sydney aged 63.

Real name Harry Van Der Sluice

Melbourne Olympics. Maurice Nathan, Chairman of the Olympic Civic Committee, key organiser.

Later became Lord Mayor of Melbourne

Israeli Embassy in Canberra erected.
Carmel School opens in Menora Perth

With 11 pupils

Judy Cassab wins the first of two Archbald prizes
Australian government refuses to extradite Ervin Viks for trial in Estonia as a war criminal
Australian census records 59,329 Jews
Samuel Herbert Cohen is the first Jew elected to the Australian Senate.
Liebler Yavneh College opens in Caulfield North.
Earliest Sephardi Synagogue in Australia is consecrated in Sydney
Estimated total of 35-40,000 Jewish immigrants who had been victims of Hitler arrived 1933-1963.

Melbourne becomes the Diaspora community with the highest percentage of Holocaust survivors.

Charles Perkins and Jim Spigelman lead the Freedom Bus Ride tours NSW to promote Aboriginal rights.
Masada College opens in Lindfield.

High School opened 1982

Iconic landmark Australia Square designed by Harry Seidler completed
Jewish Communal Appeal (JCA) established

Response to 6 Day War

Barry Kosky, born in Melbourne.  Internationally renowned opera and theatre director.

Currently artistic director of the Komische Oper Berlin.

Harry Triguboff undertakes his largest development to date, 18 apartments in Meriton Street, Gladesville. 

Established in 1963, Meriton has built more than 77,000 apartments

World first compulsory wearing of seatbelts in cars launched in Victoria.

Recommendation by the Road Safety Committee chaired by Walter Jona MP.

Asher Joel knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for arranging tours of Australia

Also made Knight of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1974. Also knighted by the Pope

First Jewish community centre in the Australian Capital Territory, the ACT Jewish Memorial Centre is consecrated.

Features the sharing of facilities for both orthodox and liberal services.

Australian Labor party wins government in Australia under Gough Whitlam.

The Whitlam government introduces multiculturalism as official policy, bringing to an end the White Australia policy

Moral Philospher, Peter Singer publishes his world renowned essay ‘Famine, Affluence and Morality’.
Gough Whitlam is dismissed as Prime Minister of Australia by Governor General John Kerr

Zelman Cowen proposes political solution in public letter. Kerr's secretary, David Smith, prorogues parliament on steps of (old) Parliament House.

Leo Weiser Port MBE becomes Lord Mayor of Sydney. Served from 1975-78.

Original name was Rapoport.

Sir Zelman Cowen is appointed as second Australian Jewish Governor-General.

Held office 8/12/1977-29/7/1982

Australia’s first Progressive Jewish day school, King David School, opens in Armadale Vic
Soviet Jewish immigration to Australia peaks.

Estimated over 7000

Mount Sinai College opens in Maroubra.
Hakoah Club and the Israeli consulatein Sydney are bombed

First instance of international islamic terrorism in Australia.

Jewish Museum of Australia opens in Melbourne.

14 pupils

The Emanuel School opened

Relocated to Randwick in 1985

Barry Cohen appointed Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment from 1983.

Minister for arts, heritage and the environment until 1987.

Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre opens in Melbourne
Harry Seidler becomes the first Australian elected to the prestigious Académie d’architecture.

For contribution to international architecture.

40th International Conference of Holocaust Survivors and Descendants is held in Sydney.
Andrew Menzies’ report on war criminals in Australia is published
Rabbi Raymond Apple becomes senior Chaplain of the Australian Military Forces

Nominal rank of Brigadier

Jewish Secular Humanistic Community (NSW) Incorporated

Ian Bersten president. Similar entity in Melbourne (Julie Ruth)

Sinai College, the first Jewish primary school in Brisbane, opens with 14 students.

Increased to 53 during 1991

Antisemitic attacks increase in Australia

Five synagogues attacked by arson in Sydney during the Gulf War

Australian War Crimes trials take place in Adelaide.

The Special Investigations Unit closed in June 1992

High Court Mabo decision, established concept of native title.

Claimant Eddie Mabo, a Murray Islander; represented by Ron Castan QC.

Sydney Jewish Museum opens in Darlinghurst.
Hon. Mahla Pearlman serves as Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court.

Served from 1992-2003. The first woman to become chief judge of any jurisdiction within the state of NSW.

Henry Ninio becomes Lord Mayor of Adelaide
Sir James Wolfenson becomes President of The World Bank in New York

Australian born. Nominated by U.S. President Bill Clinton, Wolfensohn was only the third World Bank President to complete two terms, stepping down June 1st 2005.

Gordon Samuels is appointed Governor of NSW.
Maccabiah bridge over the Yarkon River in Tel Aviv collapses.

4 Australian athletes killed and 60 injured

James Spigelman is appointed Chief Justice of NSW.

Served from May 1988 - May 2011

David Bennett AC QC becomes Solicitor-General of Australia

Served from 1998 to 2008.

Arson attack on Roscoe Street Shule Bondi

Prayer shawls doused with kerosene and set alight

First Jewish float in Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras
$14m settlements for Maccabiah Games bridge collapse in 1997

Three Australian families Elterman, Zines and Small

Australian Malki Roth, age 15, killed in Sbarro Pizzeria bombing


Louis Kahan, portrait artist dies aged 97

Won the 1962 Archibald Prize for portrait of author Patrick White

Judge orders removal of Fredrick Toben’s material offensive to Jews

Ignoring order resulted in Toben being jailed in 2009

Bali bombing. 202 people including 88 Australians killed

Melbourne plastic surgeon Graeme Southwick present, helped save lives.

Kesser Torah College opens in Dover Heights.
Palestinian activist Dr Hanan Ashrawi accepts Sydney Peace Prize.

Majority of the Jewish community protests the award

Mel Gibson’s controversial film, The Passion of the Christ, released

Amid charges of encouraging antisemitism.

Israelis attempt to acquire a forged New Zealand passport.

New Zealand demanded an apology from Israel and suspended diplomatic relations. Israel later apologised in Jul 2005.

Michael Danby defeats David Southwick in the battle for Melbourne Ports

First time in the electorate’s history that two Jews representing the major parties have come head-to-head.

Isador Magid dies in Melbourne aged 91

Jewish communal philanthropist

Anton Block elected president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria

At 33, the youngest JCCV president in Victorian history

Yiddish accepted as Victorian Certificate of [High School] Education subject.
Political historian and commentator, Robert Manne, is voted Australia’s leading intellectual in an SMH survey.
Mark Leibler receives a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)

For services to business, law and tax reform, Aboriginal reconciliation and the Jewish community.

Sabina Van Der Linden, addresses opening of the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin

Holocaust survivor living in Sydney,

Australian census records 88,832 Jews

Actual figure is estimated to be about 15-20 per cent higher.

First Sydney Jewish Writers’ Festival staged.
Harry Seidler Architect dies aged 82

Mastermind behind iconic Sydney buildings such as Australia Square, the MLC Centre and Grosvenor Place

Geraldine Brooks wins Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for March.

First Australian author to win the prestigious prize

Leslie Caplan, former ECAJ president dies aged 74.

After being admitted five weeks earlier to Sydney's Wolper Hospital with advanced Parkinson’s disease

Auschwitz tattooist Lou Sokolov dies aged 90

Central figure in Heather Morris' book.

Irma Stahler, Australia’s oldest Jew, dies aged 107

Believed to be the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor

John Key, born to a Jewish mother becomes Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Combined Israeli-Palestinian AFL football team formed
Richard Pratt, packaging king dies aged 74

Polish Jewish migrant created the multibillion-dollar Visy packaging empire

Former Justice Marcus Einfeld jailed for perjury.

Human-rights campaigner, guilty in case involving a speeding ticket.

Victor Smorgon dies aged 96

(1913-2009), industrialist, innovator, philanthropist and family patriarch. Arrived with no English from the Ukraine at age 14.

Australian-born Mossad spy Ben Zygier, found hanged in his cell

At Israel’s maximum security Ayalon prison.

Fire guts synagogue at Masada College

A fire on the first night of Rosh Hashanah, thought to have begun after a candle was left burning in the kitchen.

Australian census records 97,331 Jews
Death of Sir Zelman Cowen

Appointed 19th Governor-General in 1977

Australia’s first Humanistic Jewish congregation, Kehilat Kolenu, is established in Melbourne.

Similar established in Sydney, Ayelet HaShachar. Services loosely based on the Humanistic Jewish movement in USA and the musical-prayer group Nava Tehila in Israel.

Royal Commission into sexual abuse of children at religious institutions & schools

Welcomed by Jewish community leaders.

Jessica Fox wins the first of 7 World Championships in canoeing
Mark Dreyfus becomes second Jewish federal attorney-general

Position first held by Sir Isaac Isaacs nearly 100 years ago.

Government confers honorary citizenship, on Raoul Wallenberg

A first for Australia

Julia Gillard becomes the first Australian politician to sign London Declaration on Combating Anti Semitism

The document is later signed by MPs from both sides of Parliament

Robyn Lenn becomes president of the International Council of Jewish Women.
First Shabbat Project held

Hosted in every major city in Australia and more than 230 locations around the world

Linda Dessau is appointed as Governor of Victoria.

Also first female Governor of Victoria

ECAJ president Robert Goot appointed co-chair of the World Jewish Congress Policy Council

Policy Council liaises closely with the Vatican on inter-religious issues

Australian census records 91,023Jews

Apparent decrease due to change in Census form.

Former Chancellor of Monash University, Alan Finkel, is appointed as Australia’s 8th Chief Scientist.
Australian-born Mark Regev becomes Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom

Seasoned Israeli diplomat and the face of Israel on the world’s TV news bulletins

NSW Premier Mike Baird visits Israel

First visit by a sitting NSW premier.

Rabbi Benzion Milecki’s contract with South Head Synagogue is terminated and the shule placed into voluntary administration

In the weeks that follow, different factions attempt to gain the upper hand and a breakaway community is formed.

100th anniversary of the Australian Light Horse charge on Beersheba during WWI

3000 Australians attend

Federal MP and minister Barry Cohen dies

Honoured at a state memorial service

Benjamin Netanyahu visits Australia

First by an incumbent Israeli PM.

Former Chancellor of UNSW and businessman, David Gonski issues his committee’s final report ‘Review of Funding for Schooling’
First same-sex Jewish wedding in Australia

Ilan Buchman and Oscar Shub married at Sydney’s Emanuel Synagogue 5 months after Australia legalized gay marriage

Unibail-Rodamco completes a $US25bn deal to acquire Australia’s Westfield Corporation

Ending Lowy family ownership of Westfield Shopping Centres.

Josh Frydenberg becomes Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Federal Treasurer

When Scott Morrision elected Prime Minister

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove officially unveils the first National Jewish War Memorial in Canberra

Commemorates all 341 Jewish Diggers who are known to have died on active service.

Jewish independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps wins Wentworth by-election.

Defeating Dave Sharma and forcing Liberal government into minority

Jeremy Spinak, dies age 36.

Immediate past president of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies succumbs to a rare form of cancer.

Moriah College defrauded of $7.4m

Gus Nosti, 57, financial controller at Moriah College in Queens Park between 2004 and 2016

First reported case of COVID-19 to hit the Australian Jewish community.

Melbourne’s Yeshivah Beth Rivkah Colleges (YBR) closed following confirmation that a teacher has tested positive for the coronavirus

Australian census records 99,956 Jews
Isi Leibler former Chairman of the Governing Board of the World Jewish Congress dies
Eddie Jaku dies at age 100. Author of international best-seller “The Happiest Man on Earth”

Was a survivor of the Holocaust and one of the founding members of the Sydney Jewish Museum.  

56-year-old Gershon (Gabi) Yitshaki is the first member of the Orthodox community in Australia to die from COVID.
Construction agreement signed for building of new Hakoah at White City

New hub for Sydney Jewish community

Malka Leifer found guilty of 18 charges relating to the sexual abuse of two sisters between 2003 and 2007.

Leifer was former head of religion and principal of Adass Israel School and fled Melbourne for Israel in March 2008