Friday, December 01, 2006

Jews Down Under

In These Are The Names, Rabbi John Levi has documented the lives of 1500 Jews who came to Australia in the early decades of European settlement. He's been working on the book for 40 years.

His wife, Robyn, said each time they went to London or anywhere in Australia for a holiday, religious ceremonies or meetings, Rabbi Levi would take an "extra day" to read old newspapers at the local library, or to explore snake-infested cemeteries.
Though he counts some interesting Aussies among his forebears, Rabbi Levi is "miffed he isn't related to any convicts, although 450 Jewish convicts were sent to NSW, and 230 to Van Diemen's Land." Others are more fortunate.
Former Supreme Court judge Howard Nathan said he was "positively delighted and terribly proud" to learn his ancestor Nathan Nathan had come to Sydney in 1800 as a convict, having snatched a parcel from an old woman in Cornhill, inner London. [Link]

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