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Page from the Newspaper "Yidishe Nyes", Balaclava, Melbourne, Australia, 1984
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Page from the Newspaper "Yidishe Nyes", Balaclava, Melbourne, Australia, 1984

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Page from the newspaper "Yidishe Nyes" (Yiddish News), Balaclava, Melbourne, Australia, 1984. Photo: Than Wyenn
The Oster Visual Documentation Center, ANU - Museum of the Jewish People, Than Wyenn collection

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Melbourne

Capital of the Victoria State, Australia.

According to a Jewish population report released in 2010 from Hebrew University, Australia is the ninth-largest Jewish community in the world. According to the 2011 census, the vast majority (95%) of Australia's Jewish population live in its major cities, with 85% living in either Melbourne or Sydney. In 2011, the estimated Jewish population of Melbourne was 51,129.

Since the 1940s, Melbourne has welcomed several waves of Jewish immigrants from around the world, including Holocaust survivors from Europe and Sephardim from North Africa and the Middle East. During the 1990s, Melbourne experienced a significant influx of Jews from South Africa and the former Soviet Union. There is also a small community of Jews from Israel.

Most of Melbourne's Jewish community lives in distinctly Jewish areas within close proximity to Jewish institutions. The community is largely concentrated in the areas of Caulfield and St. Kilda. Carlisle Street in East St. Kilda is considered the 'main-street' of the Jewish community and is a well-known tourist district.

The most populous Jewish neighborhood in the city is Caulfield North. At an estimated 10,200 people, Jews make up one third of the neighborhood's total population and account for nearly 10% of all Jews in Australia. Approximately 20% of Melbourne's Jews live in the northeastern suburbs of Doncaster and Kew. The suburb of Balaclava resides the largest enclave of Orthodox Jews in Melbourne.

The Jews of Melbourne are mostly of Polish background and Yiddish is still widely spoken by the Jewish community. The Shalom Aleichem College offers the opportunity to connect with the Yiddish language and culture through its many educational and cultural programs.

Many organizations serve the Jewish community of Melbourne. The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is a large umbrella organization representing as many as sixty Jewish agencies in Melbourne and the State of Victoria. Their work includes professional training, community outreach, organizing educational programs, social and cultural events, and combating anti-Semitism. Another prominent Jewish institution is the Zionist Council of Victoria. With more than fifty affiliated organizations, the ZCV is the largest Israel advocacy group in Victoria. The ZCV is also an umbrella organization which includes the Beth Weizmann Community Centre, which itself houses twenty-three organizations, and the Lamm Jewish Library, which has the largest collection of Jewish publications in the southern hemisphere. Other notable organizations include Stand Up, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Sephardi Association of Victoria, and World Emunah. The largest Jewish organization in Australia is Maccabi Victoria. The organization has close to eleven thousand members and twenty-three sports and recreation clubs.

Melbourne also has a number of organizations which specialize in health care and medicine, including Wings of Care, a mental health network, and Hatzolah, an Orthodox Jewish agency that provides emergency medical assistance. The Wolper Jewish Hospital and MASADA Private Hospital have served the Jewish community of Melbourne for generations. MASADA originally began in the 1970s as a Jewish nursing home.

The city of Melbourne and its suburbs have over sixty congregations representing a diversity of Jewish movements. As Australian Jews are closely attached to their European roots, the Conservative and Reconstructionist movements, while well established in their original region of North America, have yet to take hold in Australia.

The East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, an Orthodox synagogue, is the oldest synagogue in the city; in fact, it had been established 20 years prior to its official consecration in 1877, following its separation from the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation. Another historic synagogue is Temple Beth Israel. Established in 1939, it is the oldest liberal or Reform congregation in Australia. At the center of Melbourne's Sephardi community is the Sassoon Yehuda Synagogue. The congregation was founded in 1977 by a handful of members of the Sephardi community, the majority of whom came from Egypt. Services were conducted in a small house on Darling Road which had been converted for Jewish prayer services until 1990, when the Sephardi Association of Victoria purchased property at its on Hotham Street in East Kilda. The building is recognized for its Moorish architectural design.

One of the most notable features of Jewish life in Melbourne is its Jewish education system. In addition to congregation-based Jewish educational programming, Melbourne has many Jewish day schools, colleges, and education centers. Pre-school programs are offered at Abeles Liberman Pre-School, the Early Learning Center at Bialik College and The King David School. There are ten or more Jewish day schools, including Adass Israel School, Bentleigh Jewish Day School, and The King David School. The city's Jewish colleges include the Beth Rivka Ladies College, Bialik College, Yeshiva College, Mt Scopus Memorial College, Leibler Yavneh College and Shalom Aleichem College.

Many of Australia's most prominent Jewish cultural institutions are found in Melbourne. One in particular is the Jewish Museum of Australia, which was established in 1982 by Rabbi Ronald Lubofski. Until 1995, it was located in the synagogue of Melbourne Hebrew Congregation. In 1992, the Museum purchased a building on Alma Road in St. Kilda and opened its doors three years later as the Jewish Museum of Australia, Gendel Centre of Judaica, in honor of the Museum's benefactors, John and Pauline Gendel. The Museum holds approximately 20,000 objects, 9,000 of which were from Rabbi Lubofski's original collection. Most of the museum's archives document the Jewish experience in Melbourne and Australia from the 1930s through the 1950s. Other significant cultural centers include the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University, the North Eastern Jewish Centre, and the Jewish Holocaust Centre, which was established in 1984 under the patronage of Yad Vashem. The Kadima Jewish Cultural Centre & National Library features Yiddish and Jewish drama.

The only Jewish newspaper in the country is the Australian Jewish News, a weekly newspaper with editions for both Melbourne and Sydney. Its online edition was launched in 2001. Another online news source is J-wire, a website which publishes news from Australia, New Zealand and around the world. In the 1990s, an Israeli who moved to Australia established E-ton, a Hebrew-language bi-monthly magazine. The radio station SBS Melbourne broadcasts Jewish programs in Hebrew in Yiddish.


HISTORY

The Melbourne Jewish community was established in 1841 after the first Jews arrived in Australia from England. Among them were exiled convicts as well as free settlers looking to improve their lives. They were later joined by fortune-hunters from continental Europe following the discovery of gold in 1851. The first synagogue was opened in 1847. The Melbourne Hebrew School was established in 1874 and operated as a day school until 1886, when it was closed because of financial difficulties.

During the first decades of the 20th century, a struggle for communal supremacy developed gradually between the earlier immigrants who lived south of the Yarra River and who were more prosperous and assimilated and the more recent immigrants, mostly from Eastern Europe. The latter were concentrated north of the river, had Orthodox backgrounds, were steeped in Yiddish language and culture, and had strong Zionist feelings.

At the same time, a change took place in the centers of Jewish activity. Whereas life centered around the synagogue until the first decades of the 20th century, the following decades saw a shift; other, non-synagogue establishments were organized and gradually took on more prominent roles within the community.In 1911, new immigrants from Eastern Europe helped form the Jewish Cultural Centre and National Library "Kadimah", which became a center of Yiddish culture. In addition to its book collection, the center held regular cultural meetings, hosted Yiddish lectures, and staged Yiddish plays. The Judean League of Victoria was founded in 1921 as an umbrella organization for sports, literary, cultural, social, and Zionist activity.

Early efforts to spread Zionism were not successful, and the Melbourne Jewish community had an uneasy relationship with the Zionist movement. The Victorian Zionist League, founded in 1902, was short-lived. In 1913 the Victorian Zionist Society, Hatechiah, was formed. In the 1920s, following the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of the British Mandate in Palestine, there was some influential support expressed from prominent local families. This support had an effect: in 1921 the community, then numbering only 7,700, contributed $26,000 to the Palestine Reformation Fund. In 1923, the Palestine Welfare League was formed and the Zionist Federation of Australia was launched in 1927.Nonetheless, as soon as there appeared to be a conflict of interests between Britain and the Zionists, the Melbourne Jewish Advisory Board disassociated itself from the declarations and appeals of the Zionist movement.

In Australia as a whole about 80% of Jews belong to Orthodox congregations while approximately 20% belong to liberal synagogues. The Melbourne Jewish community consists of three congregations: Melbourne, East Melbourne and St. Kilda. One of the key personalities who had a lasting influence on the development of the Melbourne Jewish community was Rabbi Jacob Danglow, who led the St. Kilda Hebrew Congregation for over 50 years. Another important figure was Rabbi Israel Brodie (later chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth), the Chief Minister of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation and Av Beth Din from 1923 to 1937, where he wielded great influence, and had regular practice of visiting every community in Australia.

Immigration to Australia as a whole continued steadily throughout the 1920s-30s with an influx of migrants from Palestine and Europe, where Jews were experiencing a rise in anti-Semitism. In the years following World War II, Jews once again arrived in Australia from Europe and from Shanghai, where a number of Jews had found shelter during the war. Between 1950 and 1970, Sephardi Jews primarily from Cairo, Baghdad, and Damascus, as well as Jews from Hungary (who were allowed to leave Hungary after the 1956 Revolution) made their way to Australia. More recently, Jews have come to Australia from Israel, South Africa, and Russia.
In 1970 there were 34,500 Jews living in Melbourne, the general population of the city was 2,400,000. In 1997 there were 45,000 Jews living in Melbourne.

KASHRUT

Whereas in the 19th century the strict observance of Jewish dietary laws was often difficult due to the small Jewish population, today there are a number of kosher butchers, bakers, restaurants and delicatessens located in Melbourne. The food is often imported from Israel.

CULTURE

In 1997-1998 Beth Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People, produced the CD "The Musical Tradition of the Jewish Reform Congregation in Berlin" in cooperation with Rabbi John Levi of Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne. The production offered the opportunity for collaboration between an Australian rabbi, the son of the original producer, Hans Lachmann-Mosse, and Beth Hatfutsot, a consequence of historical circumstances that may not be atypical for the Melbourne community. Berlin choir director Dr. Herman Schildberger fled Berlin in 1939 for Melbourne where he found refuge in the—then small—Reform community. Fifty years later, Rabbi John Levi, of that same community, initiated and partly produced the CD of music that Dr. Schildberger set and arranged.

LIFECYCLE

In 1909, after pressure from new Jewish immigrants, a Chevra Kadisha was established in Melbourne. There are currently three burial societies: one for the Ultra-Orthodox Adass community, Beth-Olam for members of the Progressive community, and one serving the Orthodox community.

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Page from the Newspaper "Yidishe Nyes", Balaclava, Melbourne, Australia, 1984
Photos
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Would you like to help us improving the content? Send us your suggestions
Page from the Newspaper "Yidishe Nyes", Balaclava, Melbourne, Australia, 1984

Page from the newspaper "Yidishe Nyes" (Yiddish News), Balaclava, Melbourne, Australia, 1984. Photo: Than Wyenn
The Oster Visual Documentation Center, ANU - Museum of the Jewish People, Than Wyenn collection

Image Purchase: For more details about image purchasing Click here, make sure you have the photo ID number (as appear above)

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne

Capital of the Victoria State, Australia.

According to a Jewish population report released in 2010 from Hebrew University, Australia is the ninth-largest Jewish community in the world. According to the 2011 census, the vast majority (95%) of Australia's Jewish population live in its major cities, with 85% living in either Melbourne or Sydney. In 2011, the estimated Jewish population of Melbourne was 51,129.

Since the 1940s, Melbourne has welcomed several waves of Jewish immigrants from around the world, including Holocaust survivors from Europe and Sephardim from North Africa and the Middle East. During the 1990s, Melbourne experienced a significant influx of Jews from South Africa and the former Soviet Union. There is also a small community of Jews from Israel.

Most of Melbourne's Jewish community lives in distinctly Jewish areas within close proximity to Jewish institutions. The community is largely concentrated in the areas of Caulfield and St. Kilda. Carlisle Street in East St. Kilda is considered the 'main-street' of the Jewish community and is a well-known tourist district.

The most populous Jewish neighborhood in the city is Caulfield North. At an estimated 10,200 people, Jews make up one third of the neighborhood's total population and account for nearly 10% of all Jews in Australia. Approximately 20% of Melbourne's Jews live in the northeastern suburbs of Doncaster and Kew. The suburb of Balaclava resides the largest enclave of Orthodox Jews in Melbourne.

The Jews of Melbourne are mostly of Polish background and Yiddish is still widely spoken by the Jewish community. The Shalom Aleichem College offers the opportunity to connect with the Yiddish language and culture through its many educational and cultural programs.

Many organizations serve the Jewish community of Melbourne. The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is a large umbrella organization representing as many as sixty Jewish agencies in Melbourne and the State of Victoria. Their work includes professional training, community outreach, organizing educational programs, social and cultural events, and combating anti-Semitism. Another prominent Jewish institution is the Zionist Council of Victoria. With more than fifty affiliated organizations, the ZCV is the largest Israel advocacy group in Victoria. The ZCV is also an umbrella organization which includes the Beth Weizmann Community Centre, which itself houses twenty-three organizations, and the Lamm Jewish Library, which has the largest collection of Jewish publications in the southern hemisphere. Other notable organizations include Stand Up, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Sephardi Association of Victoria, and World Emunah. The largest Jewish organization in Australia is Maccabi Victoria. The organization has close to eleven thousand members and twenty-three sports and recreation clubs.

Melbourne also has a number of organizations which specialize in health care and medicine, including Wings of Care, a mental health network, and Hatzolah, an Orthodox Jewish agency that provides emergency medical assistance. The Wolper Jewish Hospital and MASADA Private Hospital have served the Jewish community of Melbourne for generations. MASADA originally began in the 1970s as a Jewish nursing home.

The city of Melbourne and its suburbs have over sixty congregations representing a diversity of Jewish movements. As Australian Jews are closely attached to their European roots, the Conservative and Reconstructionist movements, while well established in their original region of North America, have yet to take hold in Australia.

The East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, an Orthodox synagogue, is the oldest synagogue in the city; in fact, it had been established 20 years prior to its official consecration in 1877, following its separation from the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation. Another historic synagogue is Temple Beth Israel. Established in 1939, it is the oldest liberal or Reform congregation in Australia. At the center of Melbourne's Sephardi community is the Sassoon Yehuda Synagogue. The congregation was founded in 1977 by a handful of members of the Sephardi community, the majority of whom came from Egypt. Services were conducted in a small house on Darling Road which had been converted for Jewish prayer services until 1990, when the Sephardi Association of Victoria purchased property at its on Hotham Street in East Kilda. The building is recognized for its Moorish architectural design.

One of the most notable features of Jewish life in Melbourne is its Jewish education system. In addition to congregation-based Jewish educational programming, Melbourne has many Jewish day schools, colleges, and education centers. Pre-school programs are offered at Abeles Liberman Pre-School, the Early Learning Center at Bialik College and The King David School. There are ten or more Jewish day schools, including Adass Israel School, Bentleigh Jewish Day School, and The King David School. The city's Jewish colleges include the Beth Rivka Ladies College, Bialik College, Yeshiva College, Mt Scopus Memorial College, Leibler Yavneh College and Shalom Aleichem College.

Many of Australia's most prominent Jewish cultural institutions are found in Melbourne. One in particular is the Jewish Museum of Australia, which was established in 1982 by Rabbi Ronald Lubofski. Until 1995, it was located in the synagogue of Melbourne Hebrew Congregation. In 1992, the Museum purchased a building on Alma Road in St. Kilda and opened its doors three years later as the Jewish Museum of Australia, Gendel Centre of Judaica, in honor of the Museum's benefactors, John and Pauline Gendel. The Museum holds approximately 20,000 objects, 9,000 of which were from Rabbi Lubofski's original collection. Most of the museum's archives document the Jewish experience in Melbourne and Australia from the 1930s through the 1950s. Other significant cultural centers include the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University, the North Eastern Jewish Centre, and the Jewish Holocaust Centre, which was established in 1984 under the patronage of Yad Vashem. The Kadima Jewish Cultural Centre & National Library features Yiddish and Jewish drama.

The only Jewish newspaper in the country is the Australian Jewish News, a weekly newspaper with editions for both Melbourne and Sydney. Its online edition was launched in 2001. Another online news source is J-wire, a website which publishes news from Australia, New Zealand and around the world. In the 1990s, an Israeli who moved to Australia established E-ton, a Hebrew-language bi-monthly magazine. The radio station SBS Melbourne broadcasts Jewish programs in Hebrew in Yiddish.


HISTORY

The Melbourne Jewish community was established in 1841 after the first Jews arrived in Australia from England. Among them were exiled convicts as well as free settlers looking to improve their lives. They were later joined by fortune-hunters from continental Europe following the discovery of gold in 1851. The first synagogue was opened in 1847. The Melbourne Hebrew School was established in 1874 and operated as a day school until 1886, when it was closed because of financial difficulties.

During the first decades of the 20th century, a struggle for communal supremacy developed gradually between the earlier immigrants who lived south of the Yarra River and who were more prosperous and assimilated and the more recent immigrants, mostly from Eastern Europe. The latter were concentrated north of the river, had Orthodox backgrounds, were steeped in Yiddish language and culture, and had strong Zionist feelings.

At the same time, a change took place in the centers of Jewish activity. Whereas life centered around the synagogue until the first decades of the 20th century, the following decades saw a shift; other, non-synagogue establishments were organized and gradually took on more prominent roles within the community.In 1911, new immigrants from Eastern Europe helped form the Jewish Cultural Centre and National Library "Kadimah", which became a center of Yiddish culture. In addition to its book collection, the center held regular cultural meetings, hosted Yiddish lectures, and staged Yiddish plays. The Judean League of Victoria was founded in 1921 as an umbrella organization for sports, literary, cultural, social, and Zionist activity.

Early efforts to spread Zionism were not successful, and the Melbourne Jewish community had an uneasy relationship with the Zionist movement. The Victorian Zionist League, founded in 1902, was short-lived. In 1913 the Victorian Zionist Society, Hatechiah, was formed. In the 1920s, following the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of the British Mandate in Palestine, there was some influential support expressed from prominent local families. This support had an effect: in 1921 the community, then numbering only 7,700, contributed $26,000 to the Palestine Reformation Fund. In 1923, the Palestine Welfare League was formed and the Zionist Federation of Australia was launched in 1927.Nonetheless, as soon as there appeared to be a conflict of interests between Britain and the Zionists, the Melbourne Jewish Advisory Board disassociated itself from the declarations and appeals of the Zionist movement.

In Australia as a whole about 80% of Jews belong to Orthodox congregations while approximately 20% belong to liberal synagogues. The Melbourne Jewish community consists of three congregations: Melbourne, East Melbourne and St. Kilda. One of the key personalities who had a lasting influence on the development of the Melbourne Jewish community was Rabbi Jacob Danglow, who led the St. Kilda Hebrew Congregation for over 50 years. Another important figure was Rabbi Israel Brodie (later chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth), the Chief Minister of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation and Av Beth Din from 1923 to 1937, where he wielded great influence, and had regular practice of visiting every community in Australia.

Immigration to Australia as a whole continued steadily throughout the 1920s-30s with an influx of migrants from Palestine and Europe, where Jews were experiencing a rise in anti-Semitism. In the years following World War II, Jews once again arrived in Australia from Europe and from Shanghai, where a number of Jews had found shelter during the war. Between 1950 and 1970, Sephardi Jews primarily from Cairo, Baghdad, and Damascus, as well as Jews from Hungary (who were allowed to leave Hungary after the 1956 Revolution) made their way to Australia. More recently, Jews have come to Australia from Israel, South Africa, and Russia.
In 1970 there were 34,500 Jews living in Melbourne, the general population of the city was 2,400,000. In 1997 there were 45,000 Jews living in Melbourne.

KASHRUT

Whereas in the 19th century the strict observance of Jewish dietary laws was often difficult due to the small Jewish population, today there are a number of kosher butchers, bakers, restaurants and delicatessens located in Melbourne. The food is often imported from Israel.

CULTURE

In 1997-1998 Beth Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People, produced the CD "The Musical Tradition of the Jewish Reform Congregation in Berlin" in cooperation with Rabbi John Levi of Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne. The production offered the opportunity for collaboration between an Australian rabbi, the son of the original producer, Hans Lachmann-Mosse, and Beth Hatfutsot, a consequence of historical circumstances that may not be atypical for the Melbourne community. Berlin choir director Dr. Herman Schildberger fled Berlin in 1939 for Melbourne where he found refuge in the—then small—Reform community. Fifty years later, Rabbi John Levi, of that same community, initiated and partly produced the CD of music that Dr. Schildberger set and arranged.

LIFECYCLE

In 1909, after pressure from new Jewish immigrants, a Chevra Kadisha was established in Melbourne. There are currently three burial societies: one for the Ultra-Orthodox Adass community, Beth-Olam for members of the Progressive community, and one serving the Orthodox community.