Judaism in Australia
0.5% of Australia's population
|Australian English, Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian|
Judaism is a minority religion in Australia. 97,335 Australians identified as Jewish in the 2011 census, which accounts for about 0.5% of the population.
Jewish immigration came at a time of antisemitism and the Returned Services League and other groups publicized cartoons to encourage the government and the immigration Minister Arthur A. Calwell to stem the flow of Jewish immigrants.
Until the 1930s, all synagogues in Australia were affiliated with Orthodox, acknowledging leadership of the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom. To this day, about 70% of synagogues in Australia are Orthodox.
There had been at least two short-lived efforts to establish Reform congregations, the first as early as the 1890s. However, in 1930, under the leadership of Ada Phillips, a Liberal or Progressive congregation, Temple Beth Israel (Melbourne, Australia), was permanently established in Melbourne. In 1938 the long-serving Senior Rabbi, Rabbi Dr Herman Sanger, was instrumental in establishing another synagogue, Temple Emanuel in Sydney. He also played a part in founding a number of other Liberal synagogues in other cities in both Australia and New Zealand. The first Australian-born rabbi, Rabbi Dr John Levi, served the Australian Liberal movement.
In Adelaide Australian Jews have been present throughout the history of the city, with many successful civic leaders and people in the arts.
The same social and cultural characteristics of Australia that facilitated the extraordinary economic, political, and social success of the Australian Jewish community have also been attributed to contributing to widespread assimilation.
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- Zelman Cowen, Australian politician, Governor-General of Australia
- John Gandel, Australian businessman
- Isaac Isaacs, Australian judge and politician, Chief Justice of Australia, and Governor-General of Australia
- Solomon Lew, Australian businessman
- Frank Lowy, Slovak-born Israeli Australian businessman
- Miriam Margolyes, British-Australian actress
- Bernhard Neumann, German-born British-Australian mathematician
- Anthony Pratt, Australian businessman
- Peter Singer, Australian philosopher
- Victor Smorgon, Australian businessman
- Harry Triguboff, Chinese-born Australian businessman
- Alex Waislitz, Australian businessman
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