A hundred years in the Hill

November 16, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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The centenary of the establishment of a syngaogue in Broken Hill will be celebrated at the end of November.

The history of the opening

Events will include a ceremony in the Synagogue, a program of historical talks and personal reminiscences about the Jews of Broken Hill and their contribution to the town, a bus tour of places where Jews lived and worked, a walking tour of the Jewish section of the cemetery and of central Broken Hill, visits to the Miners’ Memorial Arch, art

The Synagogue today

The façade was brick, but the building was corrugated iron.

galleries, the Living Desert Sculpture Park and the historic town of Silverton, as well as a Civic reception by the Mayor.

The Broken Hill Synagogue was consecrated in 1911 and remained the hub of a very vibrant community until after the Second World War when most of the Jewish residents of the mining town left for Melbourne and Sydney. The congregation ceased to exist in 1962 and the Torahs were transferred to the Yeshivah Centre in East St Kilda, Melbourne.

The last remaining member of Broken Hill’s Jewish community, Alwyn David Edelman, passed away in August, 2005 and is buried in the Jewish section of the local cemetery.

The building has been heritage listed and is currently owned by the Broken Hill Historical Society.

When the Synagogue was built, the Jewish population of Broken Hill was around 150.

The Australian Jewish Historical Societies in Melbourne and Sydney are involved in the running of the centenary events which will take place between November 27 – 29.

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