JEWS IN AUSTRALIA: THE FACTS
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.