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Australian Jewish Timeline2018-07-09T15:57:59+00:00

Australian Jewish Timeline

Where was the first synagogue opened in NSW? When was the Hakoah Club bombed? Who was Australia’s second Jewish Governor-General?

The Australian Jewish Historical Society maintains a dynamic timeline of Jews and the Jewish experience in Australia since the start of European Colonisation in 1788, highlighting major events and figures in the participation of the Jewish people in Australia history, and the development of its community.

Jewish History in Australia can be explored via the Timeline at a high level or in detail, extracting important dates by subject area, including: Politics, Military, Synagogues, Events, etc.

All Events

1700

Birth of the Baal Shem Tov (Master of the Good Name), founder of Hasidism (Pietism)

Territory: World

1720

Birth of the Vilna Gaon (Elijah Ben Solomon), the leading figure of Rabbinic Judaism

Territory: World

1729

Birth of Moses Mendelssohn, the ‘Father of the Haskalah’ (Enlightenment)

Territory: World

1770

Lieutenant James Cook who was in charge of the expedition on HMS Endeavour arrives at Botany Bay

Territory: Australia

Cook was never promoted to the rank of captain in the Navy but in 1776 was promoted to Post-Captain, a higher ranking. The Sailing Master of the ship was Robert Molineux.

1775

Start of the American War of Independence. Following the defeat of the British forces England lost the ability to ship its excess convicts to Georgia and Louisiana.

Territory: World

Ultimately led to Lords Melbourne & Sydney looking at the newly chartered east coast of Van Diemen’s Land as an ideal destination to rid England of its excess convicts.

1788

Ratification of the U.S. Constitution permits Jews to hold positions of Federal office

Territory: World

7/12/1787 Delaware – 29/5/1790 Rhode Is.

1788

The First Fleet arrives at Sydney Cove. Of the 751 convicts transported to the fledgling NSW colony, at least 8 were Jews.

Territory: NSW

Over a thousand people of Jewish descent estimated to have been sent to Australia as convicts during the next 60 years.

1788

Joseph Levy, the first Jew to die in NSW

Territory: NSW

1789

The French Revolution

Territory: World

1789

John Harris, first policeman in colony of NSW

Territory: NSW

Proposed to Judge-Advocate David Collins to establish a night watch, ‘to be selected among the convicts for the purpose to stem the frequent commission of offences in the settlement’.

1790

Full equality is extended to the Jews of France

Territory: World

1796

Full equality is extended to the Jews of the Netherlands

Territory: World

1803

8 Jewish convicts at short-lived settlement at Sorrento in Port Phillip Bay.

Territory: Vic

1804

Hobart, Tasmania is established as a penal colony at Sullivan’s Cove, Van Dieman’s Land. Of the orginal 270 convicts, 8 are Jewish.

Territory: Tas

Jewish convicts arrived from the then failing colony of Sorrento on Port Phillip Bay to Sullivans Cove – now the city of Hobart.

1804

Napoleon is crowned Emperor of France

Territory: World

1808

Governor Bligh deposed by Lt. Col. George Johnson

Territory: World

Johnson’s common-law wife was Esther Abrahams of the First Fleet who was Jewish.

1809

First free Jewish male settler – Isaac Leo Lyon??

Territory: NSW

2018

The first Liberal (Reform) Temple opens in Seesen, Germany

Territory: World

1815

Battle of Waterloo

Territory: World

2018

First free Jewish woman settler – Esther Isaacs.

Territory: Australia

1817

The first Jewish communal organization in Australia, the Chevra Kaddisha (Burial Society), is formed in Sydney.

Territory: NSW

1820

The first Jewish services conducted in private homes by emancipist Joseph Marcus

Territory: NSW

One of the few convicts with Jewish knowledge

1822

Invention of photography

Territory: World

1828

Merchant Phillip J Cohen arrives in Australia. Convenes regular religious services at his Sydney home

Territory: NSW

Cohen is authorized by the British Chief Rabbi Solomon Hirschel to perform Jewish marriages. Cohen superintended the formal establishment of the Sydney Hebrew Congregation in 1832.

1828

Michael Hyam arrived in NSW (Hyam Beach)

Territory: World

Michael Hyam received a grant of 41 acres of waterfront land in 1859 and the beach and town arenamed after him.

1829

Solomon Levey independently finances Thomas Peel’s private venture, the Swan River (free-immigrant) Colony. This eventually became the Colony of Western Australia.

Territory: WA

Levey trusted Peel as he was 2nd cousin of British P.M., Sir Robert Peel, and that Peel deigned to become the partner of a Jewish former convict. Levey paid dearly for this misjudgment.

1829

Typewriter invented

Territory: World

1830

The first organised services in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) are convened.

Territory: TAS

1830

Reverend Aaron Levi arrives in Sydney. (According to SJM RABBI??)

Territory: NSW

Sefer Torah purchased by subscription. Services become more regular.

1830

Opening Maitland Synagogue

Territory: NSW

Closed 1898. Substantial synagogue erected 1879

1831

The earliest Jewish marriage, of John and Rebecca Moses, is officiated by P.J. Cohen.

Territory: NSW

The Katubah still exists.

1831

The first formal congregation is formed in Sydney, holding services in rooms above John Rowell’s pharmacy in George Street.

Territory: NSW

1832

The first Jewish Cemetery in Sydney established at Sandhills Cemetery in Surry Hills.

Territory: NSW

It was resumed in 1901 for Central Railway Station.

1832

Joseph Barrow Montefiore -elected president of first Jewish congregation in NSW.

Territory: World

Cousin of Sir Moses Montefiore

1832

Bridge Street Synagogue in Sydney is consecrated

Territory: NSW

First synagogue in Australia was opened in rented premises

1832

First Jewish marriage in the colony by P J Cohen of Moses Joseph and Rosetta Nathan

Territory: NSW

Jewish convicts were married prior, but such marriages had been performed by the Anglican ministers, hence historians do not accept these as Jewish weddings.

1833

Hebrew Philanthropic and Orphan Society established

Territory: NSW

1833

Barnett Levey officially opens, Theatre Royal. It is Australia’s oldest theatrical institution.

Territory: NSW

Burnt down in 1840.

1834

Jacob Montefiore is among the 11 Commissioners who establish the settlement of Adelaide.

Territory: SA

One of the venture’s backers is Sir Moses Montefiore.

1835

The first minister in Sydney, Rev. Michael Rose, arrives.

Territory: NSW

1835

John Batman leader of a Tasmanian group with several Jewish members negotiated for the site of Melbourne with Aboriginal leaders.

Territory: Vic

Batman’s Treaty was denounced by the Crown as contrary to “terra nullius” principle.

1836

Port Phillip Bay Association is established (later becoming the Melbourne settlement)

Territory: VIC

1836

Samson Raphael Hirsch publishes Nineteen Letters on Judaism in Germany.

Territory: World

Marks the establishment of modern Orthodox Judaism (neo Orthodoxy)

1838

Coronation of Queen Victoria

Territory: World

1839

Jewish services are initiated in Melbourne for the High Holy days.

Territory: VIC

1839

The “Jewboy” bushranger Edward Davis active in Hunter Valley.

Territory: NSW

1841

The foundation stone for the first purpose built synagogue in Australia on York Street Sydney laid.

Territory: NSW

Synagogue in use 1844-1877

1842

George Moss publishes a Sydney edition of the London Voice of Jacob. Australia’s first Jewish Newsletter.

Territory: NSW

Short-lived.

1842

Arrival of George Barron Goodman, first professional photographer in Sydney

Territory:

1843

Hobart synagogue is consecrated.

Territory: TAS

Constructed on land donated by Judah Solomon. Now the oldest synagogue in the country and is still in use

1846

The first congregation forms in South Australia at the Adelaide home of Burnett Nathan for High Holy days observance.

Territory: SA

1846

Launceston Synagogue consecrated

Territory: Tas

1846

The first of just three dedicated Jewish cemeteries in NSW was opened in Maitland.

Territory: NSW

The others were Goulburn (1848) and Raphael’s Ground (1867).

1847

The premiere of ‘Don John of Austria’ by Isaac Nathan. The first Opera to be written, composed and produced in Australia.

Territory: Australia

1848

The first synagogue in Melbourne is constructed on Bourke Street.

Territory: VIC

Victorian Jewish population increases from 200 in 1848 to 3000 1861.

1848

Gold is discovered first in NSW and then in Victoria

Territory: Australia

1848

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto

Territory: World

1849

Lionel Samson is elected to Western Australia’s Legislative Chamber, becoming the first Jew to be elected to an Australian Parliament.

Territory: WA

Over 50 Jewish MPs served during the colonial period. 1849-1900

1850

Victoria becomes an independent colony

Territory: VIC

1850

Australia’s first Jewish Day Schools open in Sydney and Melbourne with support from respective colonial governments.

Territory: Australia

When government funding ended, both schools disband: in Melbourne in 1872 and Sydney in 1880.

1850

Adelaide’s first Synagogue completed on the corner of Rundle Street and Synagogue Place.

Territory: SA

1851

Jewish immigrants arrive in Ballarat and Bendigo with Gold Rush.

Territory: VIC

1853

Ballarat Jewish community founded.

Territory: VIC

1854

Eureka Stockade, Ballarat stormed by troops.

Territory: VIC

Teddy Thonen, a German Jew was the first of 24 miners killed defending the stockade. Earlier Manastra Flatow, another German Jew, was one of those arrested in connection with the burning of the Eureka Hotel.

1855

Original Ballarat Synagogue dedicated.

Territory: VIC

Wooden construction.

1857

The East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation is founded.

Territory: VIC

After separating from the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation.

1875

The East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation is founded.

Territory: VIC

After separating from the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation.

1858

Lord Rothschild becomes the first Jew elected to British Parliament

Territory: World

1859

Queensland becomes an independent state

Territory: Qld

1859

Magistrate, merchant and pastoralist, Sir Saul Samuel is the first Jew to be a minister of the Crown

Territory: NSW

Serves numerous terms as NSW Treasurer and Post Master-General.

1859

Charles Darwin publishes Origin of the Species

Territory: World

1857

Macquarie Street Synagogue is established.in Sydney

Territory: NSW

1860

Forbes “Synagogue”

Territory: NSW

A small timber building during the gold rush, possibly burnt or washed away in a flood. Till 1990’s thought to be a synagogue.

1861

American Civil War

Territory: World

1861-65

1861

The oldest mainland synagogue still in use, in Ballarat, is erected.

Territory: VIC

1862

Rev A. B. Davis appointed Minister York Street Synagogue in Sydney

Territory: NSW

1864

Accidental death of Isaac Nathan “the Father of Australian Music” in Sydney

Territory: NSW

1790-1864. Australia’s first tram fatality

1865

Lincoln Assassinated

Territory: World

1865

Fifteen Jewish families form the first congregation in Brisbane.

Territory: QLD

They meet in rented auction rooms and a Masonic temple pending the consecration of its first synagogue in 1886.

1866

Certified Denominational School – First Jewish Day School in NSW

Territory: NSW

Operated till 1882 when Government aid for denominational schools stopped.

1870

Jewish ghettos are abolished in Italy

Territory: World

1870

Franco-Prussian War

Territory: World

19/7/1870-10/5/1871

1870

Reunification of Germany and Italy completed. Bismarck establishes a United Germany

Territory: World

1871

Australian Israelite published by Solomon Joseph in Melbourne

Territory: VIC

1873

First Australian Beth Din is established. It is headed by Rabbi Herman of Ballarat.

Territory: VIC

1873

New synagogue erected/dedicated in Albert Street for the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation

Territory: VIC

Now oldest in Melbourne and only synagogue in the CBD.

1876

Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone

Territory: World

1878

Full civic equality is extended to the Jewish populations of western and central Europe

Territory: World

1878

German agitator Wilhelm Marr coins the term ‘antisemitism’

Territory: World

1878

The Great Synagogue on Elizabeth St. Sydney is consecrated.

Territory: NSW

1879

First permanent Jewish newspaper the Jewish Herald established in Melbourne

Territory: VIC

1879

Maitland Synagogue established – the first country synagogue in NSW

Territory: NSW

1880

Eastern European immigration to Australia after pogroms.

Territory: Australia

1881

Anti Jewish laws are revived in Russia. Sparked by false official statements blaming Russia’s Jews for the assassination of Czar Alexander II

Territory: World

Pogroms generate a mass Jewish migration from across eastern Europe: USA 2,000,000 plus; Canada 120,000; England 220,000; Australia 2-3,000 between 1881 and 1914

1882

First Aliyah (organized, large scale Jewish immigration to Palestine)

Territory: World

1883

Mineral discoveries in Broken Hill NSW.

Territory: NSW

Charles Rasp. Silver, lead and zinc

1883

Newtown Shule (2nd oldest ongoing synagogue in NSW – 3rd in Australia after Hobart and Launceston)

Territory: NSW

Religious services at the home of Abram & Naomi Solomon

1884

Photographic Film invented

Territory: World

1885

Jewish community formed in Brisbane

Territory: QLD

1886

Margaret Street Synagogue in Brisbane opens.

Territory: QLD

Foundation stone laid 7 July 1885

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