"Grandad's Gifts"

Essay by jonisacheat August 2003

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a.Prior to the Second World War Jews had been settling in Australia since the first fleet arrived. Between eight and fourteen Jewish convicts are believed to have been part of the first fleet that arrived in Australia on 26th January 1788. The first free Jewish settler is believed to have arrived in the year 1816. Organised Jewish life in Australia began in the 1830s with the first synagogue being established in Sydney in the year 1837. By the 1901 15239 Jews were living in Australia most of which had come from Britain and were therefore English speaking. Jewish refugees from Central and Eastern Europe arrived in Australia during the 1930s and 40s. Without these people Jewish life would have ceased to exist in Australia by the 1980s.

b. The majority of Australia's Jewish population (about one hundred thousand) lies in the two most populated cities Melbourne and Sydney. Jewish communities are also present in all the other capital cities.

Small amounts of Jewish people live outside of the capital cities apart from in Queensland where there is a growing Jewish community on the Gold Coast. The Jewish population in Melbourne is dominated by conservative Jews of Polish descent. Sydney has a larger population of Jews who are more liberal being of German and Hungarian background. The Jewish community of Melbourne lies primarily in the suburbs south of the Yarra (Toorak, Glen Iris, South Yarra and St. Kilda). The Jewish community of Sydney is more spread out geographically than that of Melbourne. The area in which most of the Jews of Sydney live is the band of suburbs, which

c..0 run from Double Bay to Bondi. However, these areas are not as distinctly Jewish as those of Melbourne.

d. The Australian Jewish community is well organized and system of self-government...