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Jews Around the World
Australian Jews


    Jews were among the first convicts deported from the United Kingdom to Australia in the 18th century. By the 19th century, there was an established Jewish community, overwhelmingly made up of free settlers.

    In the late 1930s, about 7,000 Jewish refugees, mainly from Germany and Austria, found sanctuary in the country. After the war, Australia admitted tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors, and today Australia has the highest percentage of Holocaust survivors of any Jewish community in the world.

    The leading communal organization is the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

    In Australia Zionism is strong and Australian Jews have emigrated to Israel in larger numbers than any other English-speaking Jewish community.

    The Australian Jewish community is characterized by a number of phenomena that distinguish it from other English-speaking Jewish communities. These include a high rate of enrollment in Jewish day schools and a low rate of intermarriage. Melbourne and Sydney each boast Jewish day schools.

    There are two Jewish weeklies (the Melbourne and Sydney editions of the Australian Jewish News) and several other periodicals, including the Australia-Israel Review and Generation. Each week Australia's ethnic radio stations feature several hours of programming of Jewish interest in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish.


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