Syd Einfeld

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Syd Einfeld

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Phillip
In office
9 December 1961 – 30 November 1963
Preceded byWilliam Aston
Succeeded byWilliam Aston
Personal details
Born(1909-06-17)17 June 1909
Kings Cross, New South Wales, Australia
Died16 June 1995(1995-06-16) (aged 85)
Woollahra, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyLabor Party
ChildrenMarcus Einfeld
OccupationCompany manager

Sydney David Einfeld AO (17 June 1909 – 16 June 1995) was an Australian politician and Jewish community leader. Einfeld is credited with changing Australia’s immigration policy to provide a refuge for Holocaust survivors. As a result, Australia accepted more refugees per capita than any other country in the world, and more Jewish refugees than anywhere except Israel.[1]

Early and personal life[edit]

He was born in Sydney in 1909, three weeks after his parents arrived in Australia – hence his name, Sydney.[2] He was the son of Rabbi Marcus Einfeld (1874-1937) who came to Australia in 1909 (becoming the chazan and the Second Minister of the Great Synagogue) by way of London, England, which he had immigrated to from Jarosław in Galicia, with his wife Deborah (Gabel) Einfeld (d. 1957).[3][4][5]

He married Billie (Rosa) Appelboom on 2 June 1934 in the Great Synagogue, whereupon they lived in Newcastle, New South Wales, and had one son, Marcus, and a daughter, Robyn.[6][4] His son Marcus Einfeld, a former Superior Court Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Courts of New South Wales, Western Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory, was jailed for perjury and perverting the course of justice relative to a speeding ticket.[7][8]

He was educated at Fort Street Boys High School before becoming a manager of a merchandising company. For many years until the time of his death, Einfeld also served as the patron of the local rugby league club, the Sydney Roosters, then known as the Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club.

Political life[edit]

Einfeld is the man credited with changing Australia’s immigration policy after World War II to provide a refuge for Holocaust survivors.[2] As a result, Australia accepted more refugees per capita than any other country in the world, and more Jewish refugees than anywhere except Israel.[1] In 1948, Einfeld was elected to the Board of the Australian Jewish Welfare Society. In 1952 he was elected President of the Australian Jewish Welfare and Relief Societies. He held the position for 25 years. He was also President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry between 1953–54, 1957–58, and 1961–62.[1]

In 1961, he was elected to the Australian House of Representatives as the Labor member for Phillip, defeating Liberal MP William Aston.[4] At the time, he was only the fourth Jew to be elected to the Commonwealth Parliament.[4] He was defeated by Aston in 1963. The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), an independent national association of Australian non-government organisations (NGOs) working in the field of international aid and development, was founded in 1965 with Einfeld as Chairman.[9]

In 1965 he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for the seat of Bondi.[4] In 1966 he became Deputy Leader of the Opposition.[4] In 1971 he transferred from Bondi to the seat of Waverley. He was New South Wales Minister for Consumer Affairs in the Wran Government from 1976 to 1984, when he retired from politics.[4] In 1982 he was awarded the honour of Officer of the Order of Australia.[4]

Einfeld died in 1995, at 85 years of age.[10][2] A major bypass road in Bondi Junction is named after Einfeld.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Sydney David Einfeld, Politician and Community Leader (1907-1985)". ARCHIVE OF AUSTRALIAN JUDAICA. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Australian Parliamentarian, Jewish Leader Dies at 85" | Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  3. ^ The Great Synagogue: A History of Sydney's Big Shule - Raymond Apple, Great Synagogue (Sydney, N.S.W.)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Histories - Julius Stone
  5. ^ Debrett's Handbook of Australia and New Zealand - Debrett's Peerage Limited, Suzanne Duke
  6. ^ 14 Jun 1934 - WEDDINGS - Trove
  7. ^ "Einfeld jailed". ninemsn. 20 March 2009. Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  8. ^ Einfeld v R [2010] NSWCCA 87 (5 May 2010).
  9. ^ NGOs and Political Change: A History of the Australian Council for ... - Patrick Kilby
  10. ^ Carr, Adam (2008). "Australian Election Archive". Psephos, Adam Carr's Election Archive. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
  11. ^ A Tragedy In Two Acts: Marcus Einfeld And Teresa Brennan - Fiona Harari
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
William Aston
Member for Phillip
Succeeded by
William Aston
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Abe Landa
Member for Bondi
District abolished
New district Member for Waverley
Succeeded by
Ernie Page