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Research Guides


Safe Haven: Records of the Jewish Experience in Australia


The Jewish press

The first bid to institute a home-grown Australian Jewish newspaper was in 1842 when a Sydney edition of the London journal Voice of Jacob failed to survive more than three issues. Twenty years later, a Victorian edition of London's Jewish Chronicle disappeared even more quickly (and without trace). The Australian Israelite, founded and edited in Melbourne by the indomitable Solomon Joseph in 1871 endured longer, finally succumbing to economics and communal factionalism after four years. Critically acclaimed, and fearlessly frank, the Australian Israelite was a model for newspapers of its time. It remains a milestone in Australian Jewish journalism and an invaluable source for historians of the period.54

Since then, an estimated 140 Jewish newspapers and periodicals (of many descriptions) have been produced in Australia.55 Some newspapers, like the Dialectic, Australian Hebrew Times, Australian Jewish Gazette and the lavishly-illustrated Australasian Hebrew, failed to endure beyond a few months. By contrast, the [Australian] Jewish Herald, under the editorship of such formidable identities as Rev Elias Blaubaum, Nahum Barnet and Newman Rosenthal, survived more than 80 years. The Australian Jewish News still appears weekly more than 60 years after it started, while the Hebrew Standard, established in Sydney in 1896, continues (following several name changes) thanks to its merger with the AJN.

A wide range of other serials has included journals as varied as the Australian Jewish Forum, The Progressive Outlook, The Bridge, Generation, Menorah, The Australia-Israel Review and Without Prejudice. For a comprehensive listing of Australian Jewish periodicals – at least to the 1980s – see Marianne Dacy's Periodical Publications from the Australian Jewish Community: A Union List. A survey of holdings has located a number of items relating to the Australian Jewish press (including issues of censorship). These include:

CORRESPONDENCE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES WITH YEAR PREFIX, 1916–27, AND 'C' PREFIX, 1927–53
Canberra
Series: A367
Quantity: 64.08 metres
Recorded by: 1919–1946: Investigation Branch, Central Office (CA 747)
'Jewish Call', 1940 A367, C1822/15
'Australier Leben'. Jewish newspaper, 1931–9 A367, C1822/17
SPECIAL FILES, SF SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1952–
Canberra
The series consists of bundles about miscellaneous subjects, including transcripts of evidence from commissions of inquiry, statutes, pamphlets, etc.
Series: A467
Quantity: 27 metres
Recorded by: 1952–: Attorney–General's Department, Central Office (CA 5)
Publication of 'Jewish Youth Magazine' in Foreign Language, 1946 A467, BUNDLE 89/SF42/35
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1953–
Canberra
Series: A1533
Quantity: 160.58 metres
Recorded by: 1953–1960: Commonwealth Investigation Service, Central Office (CA 650)
Jewish Post – establishment of Australian representative, 1956 A1533, 1956/2365
Unser Godank – Foreign Yiddish newspaper (0.5cm), 1953–5 A1533, 1953/736
The Australian Jewish News – foreign language newspaper [0.5cm], 1948–53 A1533, 1953/691
R G CASEY, MINISTERIAL CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1956–60
Canberra
Series: A10302
Quantity: 9.10 metres
Recorded by: 1956–1960: Department of External Affairs (II), Central Office (CA 18)
Australian Jewish Herald, 1955 A10302, 1956/48
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE PA FILES (PUT AWAY), 1940–45
Melbourne
Series: CP439/4
Quantity: 1.8 metres
Recorded by: 1940–1945: Department of Information, Central Office (CA 74)
State Publicity Censor – 'Jewish Herald', 1943–45 CP439/4, PA98
APPLICATIONS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF BOOKS, PERIODICALS AND NEWSPAPERS FOR TRANSMISSION BY POST, AND ASSOCIATED CORRESPONDENCE, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, 1908–64
Perth
Series: PP198/1
Quantity: 7.38 metres
Recorded by: 1908–1964: Post-master General's Department, GPO, Perth (CA 1035)
Jewish Evangelical Witness [Registration and application for transmission by post; Postmaster General's], 1908–64 PP198/1, 228/4/164
CORRESPONDENCE RE PUBLICITY CENSORSHIP (PC FILES), 1939–45
Sydney
Files in this series deal with censorship of published material, mainly newspapers and magazines.
Series: SP106/1
Quantity: 7.56 metres
Recorded by: 1939–1939: Department of Information, Central Office (CA 34); 1939–1954: State Publicity Censor, NSW (CA 8217)
Hebrew Standard, 1940–43 SP106/1, PC268
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM, 1945–46
Canberra
Series: SP109/3
Quantity: 8.37 metres
Recorded by: 1945–1946: Department of Information, Central Office (CA 34)
Censorship 'The Australian Jewish News' published in Yiddish, 1940 SP109/3, 316/19
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1939–46
Canberra
Series: SP112/1
Quantity: 13.68 metres
Recorded by: 1939–1946: Department of Information, Central Office – Press Division (CA 34)
Publicity in Jewish and Anglo-Jewish Press, 1941 SP112/1, 352/27/23S

Notes

Chapter notes | All notes

54 Rechter, p.152.

55 Rutland, Edge of the Diaspora, p.134-5.


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Chapter 6
Aspects of Jewish Life in Australia