JEWS IN AUS­TRALIA: THE FACTS

The Jewish Chronicle - - FEATURES -

AUS­TRALIA of­fi­cially has 98,000 Jews, but that fig­ure is be­lieved to be a 25 per cent un­der­es­ti­mate. The ac­tual pop­u­la­tion is es­ti­mated at nearer 110,000 Jews na­tion­wide, or 0.5 per cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion. A ma­jor­ity are of Ashke­nazi ori­gin and many came as refugees or Holo­caust sur­vivors. Al­though Jews form a tiny pro­por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion, they have made out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to Aus­tralian so­ci­ety. The coun­try’s first Jews ar­rived in the con­vict ships from Eng­land in 1788; the first for­mal com­mu­nity was in Syd­ney. Since then, Jews have reached the high­est ech­e­lons in medicine, law, pol­i­tics, science, the arts and ev­ery other as­pect of Aus­tralian so­ci­ety.

Among the most high profile was Sir John Monash, who was Aus­tralian com­man­der-in-chief dur­ing the First World War, and is com­mem­o­rated through Monash Univer­sity, Aus­tralia’s largest.

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