Jewish Heritage, New South Wales
|Last updated mid September 2016. More info will be gradually added . . .|
HERITAGE LISTINGS ~ local & state government
Heritage listing by the State Government or a local council provides formal recognition of heritage significance, giving legal protection for the site, building or objects to be retained for future generations. Heritage places of NSW reveal the story of Australia's past and safeguard and enrich our present and future. Alongside statutory Local Government and State registers we have community recognition, dossiers compiled for example by the National Trust or the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Community registers are an alerting device, advising us which places have heritage significance, but grant no legal protection.
ARCHITECTURE ~ communal buildings
Architects of the collection of Jewish communal buildings of Sydney and NSW are among the most prominent of the 19th & 20th centuries; Synagogues, schools, hospitals, meeting halls, rabbis' residences. Neville Gruzman, Samuel Lipson, Harold Smith, Peter Kaad, Orwell Edward Phillips, Thomas Rowe, William de Putron, David Thomos Morrow, John Pender, Hans Peter Oser, Hugh Buhrich, Gordon Samuel Keesing, Aaron Bolot, Edward Purnell, Reginald Frizelle, Harry Seidler.
CEMETERIES ~ regional & metropolitan
The colonial legislative council of NSW decided in the mid 1840s all crown land general cemeteries would be non-denominational; burials of all religions to be intermixed. Eighteen months of ardent objections led to retraction of the decision, replaced by proportions for nominated religions, areas to be based on the census. All cemeteries had 0.5% of the grounds aportioned for Jewish burials. No matter whether or not any Jews ever lived in the district, Jews were granted an allottment in over 750 regional and suburban cemeteries. Municipal councils at times requested release of an unused Jewish portion for use by an alternate religion. Approximately 55 regional cemeteries have at least one burial of a Jew. Apart from these, three cemeteries only were private burial grounds for exclusive use by their congregations: at Maitland, Goulburn, & Raphael's Ground. The cemetery at Yass is unique as the only portion allotted by request of local Jews under the earlier system of the Church Act of 1836.
BURIALS ~ searchable database
Search for burials by name, with options to use exact or approximate spelling, and/or by cemetery.
This is not a comprehensive collection of all burials of Jews in NSW since 1788 but it does include a number of burials not readily found elsewhere. For Rookwood, the main cemetery of Sydney and the state, the database has 5,200 burials to the mid 1940s of the 22,000 burials which have to date been conducted at the Necropolis. For Macquarie Park cemetery, 1250 burials in sections A & B, and 400 burials for Eastern Suburbs cemetery. Use the checkboxes for 'Rookwood'or 'Sydney' if you wish to avoid these large Sydney cemeteries swamping a search. Less frequently used active Sydney cemeteries are not nulled out; viz Woronora, Frenches Forest, Castle Hill, and the early cemeteries of Town Hall (1792-1820), Devonshire Street (1820-1867), Raphael's Ground, & Randwick.
FAMILY TREES ~ search the index
The files of the Australian Jewish Historical Society holds numerous family trees and correspondence about Australian families. In 2008 Rieke Nash, president of AJGS, organised production of a resource CD which included an index of 9,500 names in 100 of these files. For many decades Louise Rosenberg and Helen Bersten, the secretary and archivist of the AJHS, conducted much of this research and correspondence. As a tribute to Rieke, Louise & Helen, the index to names in the family trees are reproduced here as a searchable database. If you find any of interest please contact the AJHS for further information. The society's volunteers might not be able to respond immediately, and may request a token donation to support their archives.