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For nearly two centuries the breadth of Australian Jewish Life has been documented in a succession of news publications. These newspapers have provided a priceless insight into, and reflection of, the continuous change in the Australian Jewish experience.

The Society’s newspaper collection is part of a current ongoing digitisation project which is a collaboration between the National Library of Australia (NLA), the National Library of Israel (NLI) and the Australian Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) and was made possible with financial assistance from philanthropic supporters, including the David Lesnie Foundation, the Embassy of Israel in Australia, the Besen Family Foundation, and Eitan Neishlos and Lee Levi.

The publications can be found in the National Library’s broad bibliographic database, Trove, including publications otherwise unavailable, such as: Australian Israelite 1871-1875, Australasian Hebrew 1895-1896, Australian Jewish Chronicle 1922-1930, and Australian Jewish Herald 1921-1968.

The Australian Jewish News is kindly provided by the copyright owner Polaris Media Pty Ltd, the publisher of the Australian Jewish News, who remain the copyright holder of this material.

Following is an outline of the papers available:

The Jewish Press in Australia

Percy Marks

Percy Joseph Marks (1867-1941) was a leading light in Sydney’s Jewish community, and one of Australian Judaism’s great historians. He became a noted solicitor and active member of Sydney’s Jewish community sitting on many committees. He was a regular contributor to publications such as the Australian Hebrew Times and the Hebrew Standard.

Studying the history of Australia’s Jewish community was one of his lifelong passions. In 1938 Marks was a founding member of the Australian Jewish Historical Society and was its inaugural president until his death on 23 June 1941.

In 1913, Percy read the following piece on the history of Jewish newspapers in Australia before the Jewish Literary and Debating Society of Sydney of which he was a founding member.

Solomon Stedman

Solomon Stedman (1893-1979) was born a Russian Jew in Siberia and came to Australia in 1913. His overarching interest became the history of the Jewish people and the history of Russia. He wrote chiefly of these themes in his long career. Fifty years after Percy Marks, Solomon, felt it was time to add to the story of the Jewish newspapers in Australia.

Suzanne Rutland

For those interested in successive writings on the Australian Jewish press, Suzanne Rutland’s Seventy Five Years – The History of a Jewish Newspaper was published by the Society in 1970. In the words of Rabbi Israel Porush, then president of the Society “In the case of this monograph, my pleasure is enhanced by two facts: firstly, that the author is a young historian publishing the first fruits of her studies-and a fine effort it is; and secondly, that this study represents a complete product relating to an interesting aspect in the cultural development of Sydney Jewry.” All 70 pages of this work are now available online.

Yiddish Newspapers

Over the years there have been some twenty or so different Australian Yiddish newspapers, journals or supplements. In this piece written by Sister Marianne Dacy in Sept 2005, she gives the history.

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