Census message

August 6, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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This week I received, like millions of Australia a letter in the mail letting me know that the Australian census will be taking place next week on the 10th August 2021.

Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann

The census is a once every five-year occasion that is used to measure important metrics in addition to the obvious population count! Run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this will be the 18th national census of the Australian people. Anone who is in the country on the evening of the 10th of August must complete the census.

The data is used to help governments, business and community organisaions make informed decisions about where to allocate resources based on the information collected. This includes details about housing, gender, population, households, income and work as well as unpaid work and care. There is also the additional optional question that asks Australians filling in the census to record their religion.

A wide variety of Jewish organisations have encouraged all Jewish Australians to record their religion in the census. Current official numbers estimate there are 80,000 Jewish people in Australia, but unofficial estimates put that figure as high as 110,000 Aussie Jews. Recording “Jewish” in the census allows benefits to flow to many communal organisations through the allocation of funding and resources and provides an invaluable snapshot into the current number of Jewish people in Australia.

I urge all of you to record your religion in the census. Such accurate information is highly beneficial to our Kehillah and ensures that an accurate snapshot of Jewish in Australia is provided.

My great-great-grandparents on my mother’s side were born in Australia and were founding community members of the Ballarat Shule (they are even buried in the Jewish section of the Ballarat cemetery!). There is something thrilling about the fact that I can look them up in previous Australian census data and see them listed as Jews.

I urge you to fill in the census and please make sure to record your religion!

Gabi Kaltmann is Rabbi of ARK Centre and a executive member of the JCCV


3 Responses to “Census message”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    “No Religion” is the largest group within Australia at census time. No religious used to be at the bottom of the religion section but I said to the ABS it should be at the top of the religious groups being the largest group. Guess what this happened at the next census.

  2. Eddy Boas says:

    In 1939 the Dutch undertook a population Census, Jewish families, like both my parents, thought of themselves as Dutch Jews and had lived in Holland for centuries they felt very comfortable to fill in their religion as Jewish. On May 15,1940 Germany occupied Holland, Nazi Germany controlled all Dutch Government departments, Jews were no longer Dutch Jews they were now; just Jews. The Census department handed the Nazis the Census file which contained the names and addresses of every Dutch Jew. The Census showed there were 140,000 Dutch Jews living in Holland, some had fled to England and others went into hiding. This left to 107,000 Dutch Jews being deported to concentration camps, 102,000 were murdered only 5000 survived. My father, mother, brother and I, born in 1940, managed to survive Bergen-Belsen. After arriving in Australia in 1954 my mother warned me never ever put my religion on a Census form, I never have and never will. No one knows what the future will bring, even in Australia. Could in future years, what happened in Holland in 1940 happen in Australia?

    • George says:

      Cowering In the corner has never served us well. We are a proud people, with more reasons than most!

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