Splash Screen for the website of the Australian Jewish Historical Society

Remember the Days of Yore,

Deuteronomy Chapter 32 Verse 7

understand the years of generation after generation.

This is the old home page for the Australian Jewish Historical Society, (AJHS), which has principal chapters AJHS Inc [NSW] based in Sydney and AJHS Victoria Inc based in Melbourne, with members in all states and overseas. (In an advanced state of development the new website is at ajhs.com.au ) The AJHS publishes the Journal of the Australian Jewish Historical Society, and maintains libraries and archives in Sydney and Melbourne. This site documents the Jewish experience in Australia, which began with the arrival of the First Fleet in 1778, and continued with Jewish involvement in all facets of the subsequent development and evolution of Australia. Follow the links to notices of meetings and historical tours, references and sources, photos.

Quick Links to Navigate this Website

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The new website for all Chapters of the Australian Jewish Historical Society = AJHS.
Coming Events
Listing of forthcoming and recent AJHS events in both Melbourne and Sydney.
Sumaries for Past Meetings of AJHS Victoria 2007-2013 Details of topic and speaker for AJHS VIC general meeting 2007-2014
Home Page of AJHS (Vic) = the Australian Jewish Historical Society Victoria Inc [Vic]
Next meeting, tours, contact, membership
Home Page of the Journal of the Australian Jewish Historical Society = AJHSJ
Gives flavour of our journal, free to members.
What's in the latest issue of the AJHSJ. Editors. Advice to authors.
ARChives and Libraries
The archives and libraries of the AJHS Inc [NSW] and of AJHS (Vic).
Listings of holdings of original records, microfilms, microfiche, record copies, portraits, illuminated addresses.
Access and Contact details. Fees.
The Beverley Davis Burial Data Collection - the BD-BD - holds the details from the headstones of over 40,000 Jewish graves in Australia and New Zealand, plus Australian War graves overseas and a few others. This database is fully searchable. A noteable feature is that Hebrew on headstones is converted to roman text. All genealogical information on each headstone is recorded, including the names of family members who perished in the Holocaust. Alternate URL is http://ajhs.info/cemetery.

Cumulative index for the AJHS Journal
The Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal (AJHSJ) has been published since 1939, and contains a multitude of articles on the Jewish experience in Australia. For each completed volume, a comprehensive index was published, listing articles not only by author(s) and title, but by category of paper, and also by keyword and reference. Col Choat has optically scanned the indices from Volume 1, 1939, to Volume 17 (last issue was in 2004), to produce a comprehensive cumulative index to the AJHSJ. The large files thereby produced are now online, while Harvey Cohen has commenced developing programming schemes of searching and accessing this large amount of data most conveniently.

Index for the AJHS (Vic) Research Library
The books in the AJHS (Vic) Research Library comprise 1035 titles ranging from the classic well-known books on Australian Jewish History to several rare items. The library is stored at the Makor Library, 305 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield.
The index can be accessed by browisng to the Archives Page of this website, at www.arc.ajhs.info, then clicking on the tag to the left entitled Contents & Holdings Victorian Archives

Special Publications
Graphic NEW AJHS has in recent years produced invaluable special publications in Australian Jewish history -- both in book and digital media form. This section of our website gives full description of available publications, together with pricing and ordering information.
The companion website is www.jewishhistoryaustralia.net
Jewish History Australia
Jewish History from an Australian perspective. Including not just the story of the growth of the Australian and New zealand Jewish communities, starting with the First Fleet of 1788, but the stories of how and why Jews came here. In a community that today has more holocaust survivors and their descendants than any country except Israel, there are many stories of misery, of escape, difficult passage to reach Australia. And this is a community which from the earliest days had a special relationship with Jerusalem and other Jewish towns in the neglected corner of the Ottoman Empire that was to become Israel. A perspective emissary from Jerusalem in 1861 pointed out how Jews were free of persecution in Australia, and could reach the highest government positions - such a different story from Europe.
A timeline of Australian Jewish History from 1788.
Historic sites, portraits. Stories and folklore. Jewish firsts. Links to other resources.
Australian Jewish Artists

Jewish Artists
Australian Jewish Artists: Biographies and online viewing of some of the works of our leading artists.
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Nulla Nullas
Wallaga Lake
A background account of how it was that ANUJSS - the Australian National University Jewish Students Union - established a children's club at the Wallaga Lake Aboriginal Reserve, on the far south coast of NSW at about the time of the NSW "Freedom Bus". The Club - the Nulla Nullas - run during 1964-66 - had undoubted success, but ended as key ANUJSS members left Canberra in early 1966.
Its noteable that members of the Nulla Nullas gave charity (in the form of gifts) to white children (in hospital) during a visit of a group from the Nulla Nullas to Canberra in 1965. Others both within and outside the Koori community have since contributed to the revitalization and empowerment of the Koori village at Wallaga Lake, but traces of ANUJSS's interaction are there still.
Underground school

Underground School
the Kovno Ghetto
Kovno, in Lithuanian Kaunas, had a sizeable Jewish community before the Nazi invasion. Over 90% of the Jewish polulation of Lithuania perished during WWII. A Ghetto was established within the city, to contain the Jewish population, and provide slave labour. Initially basic services were permitted within the Kovno Ghetto, but on 26 August 1942 all schools and synagogues were ordered closed. Earlier, on 7th May, 1942, the termination of all pregnancies was ordered.
Yet, despite the random shootings, and the murderous beatings, the mass murder, this story has one glimmer of hope. An underground school was established within the Ghetto hidden from the Germans. This photograph of the Underground School was used by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria in flyers for the 2009 Melbourne Yom Hashoa Commemoration Service. All children in the ghetto were searched for during the "KinderAktion" 27-28th of March 1944. However the teacher shown in the image to left - survived WWII -- as did -- miraculously -- his daughter Rona born in hiding in the Ghetto in 1943. In 1979 Rona came from Lithuania to live in Melbourne, where she is a voluntary guide at the Holocaust Centre.

     The Shanghai Story

Memorial in Chinese English and Yiddish
There has been a very small number of Jews as an ethnic minority in China for millenia. From the early eighteen hundreds small Jewish communities became established in the major trading centres of Shanghai and Hong Kong. As the Nazi menace grew from the late nineteen thiries, these centres, especially Shanghai, were seen as places of refuge to which many Jews from Eastern Europe fled. In Shanghai,the Japanese occupation authorities regarded them as "stateless refugees" and set up a designated area -- essentially a ghetto -- to restrict their residence and business.
At the end of World War II, many of these Jews emigrated to Australia.
Australian flag

Jewish History Trivia
For those willing to accept the challenge, a series of questions testing your detailed knowledge of the most quirky facts of Australian Jewish history.
Israel and Australian flags
The History of Now
Contemporary Jewish History
Since the Holocaust
Israel and Australian flags
The History Of Now website is devoted to Contemporary Jewish history, which is viewed from an international perspective, but with an Australian bias and emphasis. By contemporary Jewish history is meant the history of all Jewish communities post-Holocaust, with a special interest in the portrayal of Jews and Israel in the media. Topics covered include the ongoing programs to delegitimise Israel, and to obfuscate the Holocaust. This site offers the only available resource detailing the emerging world-wide phenomena of Jewish Radio, with a more detailed discussion of Jewish Radio in Australia since 1946 including the ongoing story of the Melbourne Jewish Radio station Lion FM. Recent events discussed for their historical significance include the Baltic States attempt to cover up the active participation of their nationalists in the Holocaust via promulgating the Prague declaration..
The World and Us

The World and Us is a series of one hour radio programs devoted to Contemporary Jewish History. On the site www.jewishhistoryaustralia.net/podcasts you will find podcast and streaming access together with outlines to each episode of the radio program, The World and Us. To repeat first broadcast on Melbourne Jewish Radio, Lion FM 96.1, on FM radio between September 2011 and June 2012, but continued to be broadcast over the internet at LionFM.org twice weekly.
New Zealand Jewish History
New Zealand flag
New Zealand Jewish Archives
From the earliest days of European contact with New Zealand, Jews were involved in all facets of New Zealand history. As a percentage of the population Jews have always numbered less than 0.2 % -- yet -- in a number of ways have made a notable difference to the development and history of New Zealand.
Over the past sixty years the Australian Jewish Historical Society has published many papers on aspects of this history. In 1957, the first, and for 38 years, the only monograph, The History of the Jews of New Zealand by Melbourne Rabbi, Morris Goldman, was published.
Local participation in the recording of New Zealand history really commenced in 1980 when the New Zealand Jewish Archives were established with the aims of collecting and preserving communal newspapers, records reports and minute books, as well as portraits and other items. Finally the first history from a New Zealand perspective (albeit a Wellington bias) A Standard for the People was published in 1995. A notable sociological study, The New Zealand Jewish Community by Prof Stephen Levine was published in 1999. In recent years, the New Zealand Jewish Archives, has been increasingly active under the leadership of Mr Michael Clements, and has staged several public exhibits in Wellington.
To further promote this important study, Dr Harvey Cohen, travelled to Wellington in July 2006 to collect material and take photographs, and then programmed, arranged domain and hosting for the first website devoted to New Zealand Jewish History at www.nzjewisharchives.org
This website was scheduled for a major facelift in November 2018 which has been delayed.