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 Jewish Herald was founded in 1879.

In 1895, Henry Harris established a small journal called the Hebrew Standard of Australasia. The first edition was published on 1 November 1895 in Sydney, with Alfred Harris editor until 1908 and once again from 1925 to 1944. Henry Harris died in 1923, but the Harris family would continue to publish the paper until 1950.[4]

In March 1904, Rabbi Francis L. Cohen was appointed chief minister of Sydney's Great Synagogue and was very influential on the paper. His sermons were published on the front page almost every week for twenty-nine years. Harris enlarged the size of the Standard to twelve pages and introduced more articles and reviews.

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

In May 1915, the press was moved from 249 George Street to 175 George Street, where it remains for more than 45 years. In 1920, a linotype machine was bought by the paper and a linotypist, and Walter Miller, joined the Standard.

In March 1922, a rival newspaper, the pro-Zionist Australian Jewish Chronicle was launched by Reverend Adolph T. Chodowski. The Chronicle ceases publication in 1931, due largely to the Depression.

In December 1924, Marcus Marks resigned as editor due to business pressures, and in 1925, Alfred Harris resumed control of the Standard and remained there until his death in 1944.

In November 1926, faced with financial difficulties, Harris decided to float the paper, but the venture fails.

In January 1931, the Standard was reduced to eight pages.

Also in 1931, David Altshul and his sons launched Oistralier Leben (Australian Life), Australia’s first Yiddish newspaper in Melbourne, with Pinchas Goldhar appointed editor, a position he would hold for three years. In 1933, Leslie Rubinstein acquired the Oistralier Leben, the forerunner of Melbourne's English-language Australian Jewish News. Rubinstein also launched the English-language Jewish Weekly News. In January 1934, the Jewish Herald was incorporated into the Jewish Weekly News, and Joachim Chaim Rubinstein becomes Yiddish editor and managing director of the paper. In May 1935, the Yiddish section was renamed Die Oistralisheh Yiddisheh Nayess. The Jewish Weekly News and the Jewish Herald were separated. In 1939, the Melbourne-based Australian Jewish News, which had been formally constituted in 1935, launched a Sydney edition, the Sydney Jewish News.

In 1933, the Great Synagogue, then under the leadership of John Goulston, decides to subsidise the Standard by £100 a year, but requests that it be published on Wednesdays.

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

1953: John Shaiak purchased the Hebrew Standard and changed 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, New South Wales.

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]