Australian Jewish Historical Society

Australian Jewish Historical Society

Infobox Organization
name = Australian Jewish Historical Society

image_border =
size = 125px
caption = Australian Jewish Historical Society Logo
formation = 1938
type = Historical society
headquarters = Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney, NSW
location =
Motto = זכר ימות עולם Deut 12:7 "Remember the days of yore"
membership = ~900
language = English
website = []

The Australian Jewish Historical Society was founded in 1938 in Sydney. The first president was Mr. Percy J. Marks. At the first business meeting the then president of the Royal Australian Historical Society Mr. K. R. Cramp expressed the view that the chief object of the Australian Jewish Historical Society should be the encouragement of individual research. [Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, Volume I, Part 1. (1939)]

In 1939 the Society published the first issue of the "Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal".

In 1948 a Melbourne branch was established, which was informally known as AJHS(Vic). As this branch grew to become larger than the parent society it became an independent body, sharing withthe older chapter in the production of the Journal. There is in fact to this date no Federal executive, the Sydney and Melbourne societies are financially independent, both have editorial committees that take turns in editing Journal Issues. Currently there are two issues of the Journal each year.The table of contents of recent issues of the Journal are online at [] . The cumulative index to the Journal by subject and category is online at [] . This cumulative index covers all journal issues, but not special publications, from 1939 to 2004. In 2007 AJHS (Vic) published a CD holding in digital format all journal issues published 1939 to 1953. [] The NSW Chapter maintains extensive archives as well as a research library in Mandelbaum House, a College of the University of Sydney. AJHS(Vic) also collected extensive archives, which were placed on indefinite loan to the State Library of Victoria in 2004. [ Archives, Records, and Libraries of the Australian Jewish Historical Society ] ] .

Although the Society's principal chapters are in Sydney and Melbourne, there is also a small Canberra-based affiliate, and there are members in all states and overseas.

The gamut of the society can be seen by examining the membership of the Committees of the NSW and Victorian Chapters [ and ] which include distinguished historians such as Rabbi Dr John Levi and Professor Suzanne Rutland, as well as others with a lay interest in Australian Jewish history.

From 1977 to 2006 AJHS (Vic) members under the leadership of Beverley Davis transcribed the headstones of over 40,000 Jewish graves in Australia and New Zealand, as well as Jewish War Graves overseas.. This collection of burial data called The BD-BD was placed online June 2008. [ Beverley Davis Burial Database] .

In 2007 the Society under the leadership of AJHS (Vic) president Dr Howard Freeman made a notable but unsuccessful attempt to retain intact within Australia the so-called Gurewicz Archives [ [ Community gets fresh chance to purchase Gurewicz Archive (May 29, 2008) ] ] . The New York purchaser removed much of the holocaust material, rabbinic communications to Lithuania, Palestine, material re Dunera, sold the residue at auction to the Jewish Museum of Australia in June 2008. [ [, AJN: Jewish Museum buys Gurewicz Archive] .


External links

* History of the Jews in Australia
* [ Australian Jewish Historical Society web site]

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