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Our Next Event:


25 September 2019, at 7.45 pm at the Centre


Helen Lewis – The Dead Still Cry Out



Helen Lewis is a writer, editor and researcher who wrote her PhD thesis on her father's experiences as a combat cameraman during WWII. Mike Lewis had recorded the first images of the Nazi's atrocities committed at Bergen-Belsen. Earlier this year, Helen was awarded the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award for her book The Dead Still Cry Out, presented for excellence in research in the creation of a literary work. The book reconstructs Mike's life and experience of the war, and explores how anyone can deny the Holocaust in the face of powerful evidence.


Australian Jewish Historical Society (ACT)

  The Australian Jewish Historical Society (ACT), meets throughout the year for lectures, talks and excursions related to various areas of local, national and international Jewish historical interest. Our members learn about Jewish history and have the opportunity to contribute to that knowledge.

We look forward to welcoming you and your friends to another year of thought-provoking events. Each year MEMBERS will receive two issues of the AJHS Journal, the quarterly Newsletter, and voting rights at our ACT Annual General Meeting.

An added benefit for MEMBERS is access to all member-only areas of which include past issues of the Society’s Journal and special publications, databases, personal papers, photographs, military records, newspapers and ephemera dating back to the First Fleet in 1788. Once the annual subscription has been received by the Treasurer, a unique login will be issued to the member.

NOTE: A generous aspect of membership to AJHS(ACT) members is that the $35 subscription includes all members of one family unit. This entitles the family to one issue only each time the journal is published (twice each year).

Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal XXIV 2019 (cover as shown). 


We hope you will consider becoming an AJHS member this year and support the ACT Branch of the AJHS. Please click on the image of our brochure below to complete the membership form contained within. Or telephone ACTJC the office for more information (02 6295 1052). 

Methods of payment

1. Electronic funds transfer OR payment at bank Payee:
AJHS-ACT, St George Bank, BSB no: 112-908, account no: 140-555-462 Please put your surname as the reference and email the ACTJC office who will forward your email to the Hon Treasurer of the AJHS to confirm that you have paid. Email:
2. Cheque/cash payment to office staff at ACT Jewish Community Centre. Please complete the membership form inside our brochure (available at the Centre) with enclosed payment. Office staff will forward to the Treasurer.
To apply for membership, please complete the online below or CLICK HERE to download our brochure, complete it and then email to the ACTJC office.

AJHS Membership Form

Please complete the form below to submit an application for membership to the Australian Jewish Historical Society (ACT).  
Thank you for your submission. In order to complete your application, please pay your $35 membership fee into the AJHS bank account as below:
Account Name: AJHS-ACT
BSB: 112908
A/C: 140 555 462
Reference: Your surname.

2019 Past Events & Speakers

February -

Earle Hoffman Memorial Lecture in Australian History.

Delivered by Angus Trumble, recently retired Director, National Portrait Gallery of Australia.
Angus' lecture, The Rothschild Bank, the Montefiores and the Victorian Gold Rush, outlined the discovery and contents of documents and correspondence found in the basement of the London Rothschild Bank which connects the two families to every aspect of the gold rush in colonial Victoria.

March -

Records Continuity: Preserving Today's for Tomorrow's Community

Delivered by Sabrina Elias, Senior Archivist, AJHS.
Sabrina discussed the importance of retaining records in Jewish communities, illustrating her work with examples she has undertaken. Sabrina also delivered a valuable workshop for the benefit of AJHS(ACT) and others with material stored in the ACTJC archive.


August –

delivered by Alpha Cheng, son of Curtis Cheng who was gunned down by a teenager radicalized by ISIS ideology.

In his talk entitled 'Çarrying the Light', Alpha spoke about his training in Holocaust studies at Yad Vashem, his work with Courage to Care, his advocacy on discrimination and inclusiveness in Australia, and his hopes for the future.

reserved for our next event

2018 Past Events & Speakers


February – Excursion to Old Linton and Yass Jewish Cemetery

Yass, NSW
Old Linton is the gracious colonial home built in 1857 by the ex-convict turned successful and respected businessman Moses Moses. The tour was led by the current owner Stephe Jitts. The group then visited the nearby Yass cemetery where Rabbi Shimon Eddi consecrated the small Jewish cemetery and recited memorial prayers over the graves. He also explained the history and significance of the consecration of land for Jewish burials.


February – Earle Hoffman Memorial Lecture in Australian History

Delivered by Dr Avril Alba, consulting lead curator for the Sydney Jewish Museum’s Holocaust exhibition
Avril spoke on the topic Transmitting the survivor’s Voice:  Redeveloping the Sydney Jewish Museum, which focused on the process of exhibition development, and connections to Australia and human rights.


August – Tell Your Story

Delivered by Leonie Webb (AJHS (ACT) Vice-President) and Dr Merrilyn Sernack
At a winter afternoon event two long standing members of the ACTJC each recounted illustrated stories of a member of their family. 
Leonie told the moving story of her aunt Elizabeth Friedman (1909-2001).  Elizabeth survived two brutal years in concentration camps, eventually arriving in Australia to live out a long and happy life. 
Merrilyn told the story of her father Sidney Sernack (1918-2016) who served as an army officer if WWII, and afterwards worked in the fashion industry in Sydney for the next five decades bringing the bikini and Mary Quant labels to Australia.


November – Lessons in Leadership – the life of Sir John Monash

Delivered by Mr Rolfe Hartley, former President of Engineers Australia and volunteer guide at the Australian War Memorial
Coinciding with the week of the centennial Remembrance Day, and following the centenary of the knighthood of General Sir John Monash, Rolfe presented a ‘warts and all’ discussion of Monash the engineer, the soldier, and the man…..a complex man, an outsider who had failures and human weaknesses but who is regarded by most historians as the greatest general of WWI and an extraordinary Australian.

2017 Past Events & Speakers


March - Earle Hoffman Memorial Lecture in Australian History

Delivered by Adele Rosalky, President AJHS(ACT)
Adele gave an illustrated talk entitled A Jewish cultural landscape in the Goulburn area which presented Goulburn’s prominence in Australian Jewish history, the 1861 census showing that Goulburn was the third largest Jewish community in Australia at the time outside of Sydney and Melbourne.  The talk focuses on the ‘Jewish synagogue’ located on the Lansdowne Park estate and the Jewish cemetery in Long St.


May – Combating antisemitism in the school playground: an Australian case study

Delivered by Dr Suzanne Rutland, Emerita Professor, Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies at The University of Sydney
Suzanne analysed the problem of anti-Semitic bullying in contemporary Australian state schools through interviews conducted in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.



July – Jewish and Israeli identities in contemporary Israel

Delivered by Dr Michael Abrahams-Sprod, Roth Lecturer from the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies at The University of Sydney
Michael charted the complex evolution of a uniquely Israeli identity, exploring issues of religious observance, role of the IDF, secular-religious divide, relations between Israeli and diaspora Jews, the absorption process of new immigrants, and other issues and challenges.


December – Last Post ceremony for Sergeant Morris Solomon 

Australian War Memorial
ACT branch member Judith Eisner and members of her family laid wreaths beside the Pool of Reflection in a Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in honour of her uncle, Sergeant Morris Solomon, who died in a flying accident in 1942, aged 23 years.  Many members of the ACT Jewish Community and AJHS (ACT) attended this moving ceremony.
Fri, 20 September 2019 20 Elul 5779