Australian Jewish News

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Australian Jewish News is the only Jewish newspaper in Australia[1] It was first published as The Hebrew Standard of Australasia in 1895 and has also been published as The Australian Jewish Times.[2][3] The weekly (formerly semi-weekly) publication has been, for the most recent years of its existence, the nation's only print news publication aimed specifically at a Jewish readership and, from the start, assumed the responsibility of covering local as well as national and international events.

Historical timeline[edit]

The paper was established in 1895 as a small journal under the name Hebrew Standard of Australasia.

1 November 1895: The first edition of the Hebrew Standard is published in Sydney. Alfred Harris serves as its founding editor from 1895 to 1908 and once again from 1925 to 1944. His family continues to publish the paper until 1950.[4]

March 1904: Rabbi Francis L. Cohen is appointed chief minister of Sydney's Great Synagogue and is very influential on the paper. His sermon is published on the front page almost every week for twenty-nine years. Harris decides to enlarge the size of the Hebrew Standard to twelve pages and introduce more articles and reviews.

1909: Phil Harris resigns from the editorship and Marcus Marks (assistant secretary to Simeon Frankel, secretary of the Great Synagogue 1881-1919) takes over the editorship part-time.

May 1915: Harris and son moves the press from 249 George Street to 175 George Street, where it remains for more than 45 years.

1920: A linotype machine is bought by the paper and a linotypist, Walter Miller, joins the Standard.

March 1922: A rival newspaper, the pro-Zionist Australian Jewish Chronicle is launched by Reverend Adolph T. Chodowski. Largely due to the effects of the Depression, the Chronicle ceases publication in 1931.

April 1923: Henry Harris, publisher of the Hebrew Standard since 1895, dies.

December 1924: Marcus Marks resigns as editor due to business pressures.

1925: Alfred Harris resumes control of the Standard and remains there until his death in 1944.

November 1926: Faced with financial difficulties, Harris decides to float the paper, but the venture fails.

January 1931: The Standard is reduced to eight pages. David Altshul and his sons launch Oistralier Leben (Australian Life), Australia’s first Yiddish newspaper in Melbourne.

1933: The Great Synagogue, then under the leadership of John Goulston, decides to subsidise the paper by £100 a year, but requests that it be published on Wednesdays. Leslie Rubinstein acquires Oistralier Leben, the precursor of Melbourne's English-language Australian Jewish News. Rubinstein introduces the Jewish Weekly News, written in English.

January 1934: The Jewish Weekly News incorporates the Jewish Herald, which was founded in 1879. Joachim Chaim Rubinstein becomes Yiddish editor and managing director of the Australian Jewish News.

May 1935: The Yiddish section is renamed Die Oistralisheh Yiddisheh Nayess. The Jewish Weekly News and the Jewish Herald separate.

1939: The Melbourne-based Australian Jewish News, which had been formally constituted in 1935, launches a Sydney edition, the Sydney Jewish News.

March 1952: The Standard’s photographic department is established. The annual price of the paper increases from 15 shillings to £1.

1953: John Shaiak purchases the Hebrew Standard and changes its name to the Australian Jewish Times.

1957: Due to failing health, Shaiak sells the Australian Jewish Times to Herzl Press.

October 1960: Sydney Jewish News editor Ernest J. Burger purchases the Australian Jewish Times.

November 1961: Mike Golland leaves the Australian Jewish Times to become editor of the Sydney Jewish News.

1962: Hans Licht becomes editor of the Melbourne paper.

1963: The Australian Jewish Times is on the brink of extinction, but is saved by communal leader Jack Green, whose family keeps it afloat.

1966: Eve Symon becomes editor of the Australian Jewish Times.

1967: The Jewish Herald closes. The Australian Jewish News moves to Abbotsford.

1968: Louis Klein buys the Australian Jewish Times.

1968-73: As a team, Symon and Klein radically alter the paper and incorporate the Sydney Jewish News into the Australian Jewish Times.

1969: Klein moves the offices from King Street to the community centre in Darlinghurst.

1973: Leslie Rubinstein sells the Sydney Jewish News.

July 1974: The Times becomes the first small newspaper in Australia to use photosetting.

1975: Klein dies of a heart attack.

1979: Victor Kleerekoper becomes editor of the Sydney paper.

1983: Kleerekoper leaves for Melbourne, where he joins the Australian Jewish News. Susan Bures, Klein’s daughter, takes over as editor of the Sydney paper. The Melbourne paper celebrates its 50th anniversary.

1984: All journalists at the paper are using computers.

2 May 1985: The Jerusalem Post international edition is included each week in the Australian Jewish Times.

13 March 1986: The first national edition of the Australian Jewish Times is published.

1987: Businessman Richard Pratt purchases the Australian Jewish News. The Australian Jewish Times merges with the Melbourne-based Australian Jewish News. Licht resigns after 38 years at the paper, 26 of them as editor; Sam Lipski is appointed editor-in-chief of the AJN.

1988: The AJN moves to Elsternwick. The Sydney-based Australian Jewish Times relocates from the Maccabean Hall to the war memorial centre.

1990: Mona Klein announces the decision to change the name of the Sydney newspaper from the Australian Jewish Times to the Australian Jewish News. The international edition of The Jerusalem Post is dropped from the paper.

1995: The newspaper marks its 100th anniversary by publishing a book, Pages of History, by historian Suzanne Rutland. Ivriton, a Hebrew insert is launched, but the Yiddish paper closes due to falling sales. Shortly after, Bures leaves the Sydney AJN after the Adler family assumes control over the AJN board; Vic Alhadeff is appointed editor in 1996.

1998: Lipski steps down after 11 years.

1999: Deborah Stone is appointed editor of the Melbourne edition.

2000: The AJN launches its online edition at

2002: Dan Goldberg is appointed editor of the Melbourne edition.

2003: The paper undergoes a major redesign and the Melbourne Life and Sydney Life magazines are launched.

2004: Alhadeff steps down after 18 years with the paper, the last eight as Sydney editor. Dan Goldberg relocates to Sydney and becomes the paper's national editor.

2005: The paper celebrates its 110th anniversary with an exhibition of famous front covers and a 32-page souvenir edition.

2006: The newspaper places in four categories at the Pacific Area Newspaper Association (PANPA) awards. It receives two "highly commended" awards – one for the 110-year celebrations (incorporating a special edition, an exhibition and a DVD), and the other for It wins the "Technical Excellence - Supplement" category for "Home" magazine, and Melissa Singer, the national news editor, wins the Hegarty Prize for excellence in young newspaper executives. PANPA executives are heard stating "the Jewish News is punching above its weight class."

2007: Goldberg steps down as national editor, and is appointed manager of the newly formed New Media department. Ashley Browne is appointed national editor. undergoes a minor redesign, and the newspaper commences an audio podcast service.

July 2007: Kathy Shand and Roxanne Dunkel sell the business to property developer Robert Magid.

July 2009: Editor Ashley Browne departs the paper, with Magid apparently wanting to go in a new direction.[1][2]


Selected issues of this paper have been digitised as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program (ANDP) project of the National Library of Australia.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jewish Australia". Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Hebrew standard of Australasia". SLNSW catalogue. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Australian Jewish times". SLNSW catalogue. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "About | The Australian Jewish News". 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Newspaper and magazine titles". Trove Digitised newspapers and more. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Newspaper Digitisation Program". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 

External links[edit]