PhotoExhibit 17

Synagogues in Western Australia



Photo taken in 1988 (notice the Star of David on top of the shop front).

The first Jewish Congregation was established in Fremantle in August 1997 when Laurence Alexander, the manager of Falk and Company was elected as the first President. Weekly meetings were conducted with Henry Seeligson as the acting lay reader from September 1888. Soon afterwards, in 1891 Rabbi A.T. Boas conducted services in the guard room of the Fremantle Barracks on South Terrace. In 1895 a land swap of land on Norfolk Island was arragned with teh State government, and land was acquired in South Terrace under the names of Elias Solomon and W.F. Sampson, who acted as Trustees of the Jewish community. The land was adjacent to the Barracks and a synagogue was built in 1902, by which time the congregation had grown to sixty members. The foundation stone was laid by the Federal member for Fremantle and former Mayor by Elias Solomon.

A second congregation was established in Perth in 1892, and over the next decade there was gradual gravation of the Jewish population to Perth from Fremantle and the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie. In 1908, the Perth Hebrew Congregation assumed control of the declining Fremanatle congregation's affairs. The synagogue was sold to the Perth body. Services continued until 1910. The synagogue was subsequently sold, and various organisations rented the premises till 1922, when the building was used for commercial purposes. Some alterations have been made to the original building over the years, but today the building has been partially restored and is under the National Trust.



Perth Hebrew Congregatiion

Perth is possibly the most geographically isolated Jewish community in the world. It now numbers about 6000, the numbers having been increased through migration from South Africa in latter years. The first members of the congregation, which was founded in 1892 were from Safed, who fled to Australia to escape the rigours of life in the Holy Land at that period. Its earliest permanent minister was Rabbi I.D. Freedman, whose strong personality moulded the shape of the Congregation over the 42 years of his ministry from 1897 till his death in 1939. The present rabbi is Rabbi David Freilich.


Temple David in Perth