Take your phone for a walk around Sydney

March 13, 2020 by Community newsdesk
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A Walk of Jewish Sydney‘s mobile app is aimed to revolutionise Jewish tourism to Sydney.

A Walk of Jewish Sydney was developed by the Australian Jewish Historical Society, with support from the City of Sydney. It is a free self-guided walking tour of some of the most interesting, surprising, and meaningful Jewish moments and characters in Sydney’s past. Consisting of 45 stations, the full 5-kilometre walk takes about 3 hours to complete, but users are welcome to pull up the map and browse a few stops at a time.

The app, which is available for Mac and Android, aims to enhance the experience of visitors and locals alike who may be unaware of the Jewish history of some of the most famous – and anonymous – locations in Sydney’s centre and suburbs.  

The tour includes major Jewish sites such as the Great Synagogue, the Sydney Jewish Museum, and the former location of the York Street Synagogue, but there are also dozens of stops in places you may never have known were associated with Jewish events. 

For example, while you may be familiar with the statue of Queen Victoria located in Queen Square, you might not have known that it was commissioned by Sir Saul Samuel, the first Jewish Minister of the Crown in the British Empire. 

And did you know that in 1839, convict escapee Edward Davis became the first (and only) known Jewish bushranger in Australia, forming the notorious ‘Jewboy gang’? You can visit the site of the old Sydney gaol on George Street where he and his gang were hanged in 1841. 

Or check out the site of one of the very first kosher eateries in the city. Owned and operated by Rebecca Selig, a Danish Jewish woman who arrived in Sydney in 1864 with six children, no husband and no English; it was located at 236 Pitt Street. 

The tour has points of non-Jewish interest as well. Included among the stations is St. Patrick’s Courtyard Coffee Shop, where you’ll learn the story of the curious Star of David placed in a window of the church.

Speaking of mysterious Jewish symbols in Sydney, you shouldn’t miss the menorah carved into a kerbstone on the south-west corner of Hunter Street. Thought to be the work of a sculptor who laid stones along Macquarie Street in 1987, the seven-branched menorah will surely come as a surprise even to those who walk the street every day. 

Whether you choose to stop at a few places of interest or complete the whole tour, what quickly becomes clear on A Walk of Jewish Sydney is the real and significant contributions that Jewish settlers have made to the city since its founding. From building skyscrapers to writing operas, Jewish Sydneysiders have been at the heart of Sydney culture, business, infrastructure, and spirituality from the beginning. 

With locations throughout the CBD and dates stretching from the First Fleet to the end of the last century, the tour certainly has something for everyone interested in the rich, varied history of Jewish Sydney.

This app was made possible by a grant from the City of Sydney with the support of JCA. The app logo was designed by Dan Friedman of Brandzu.

You are invited to the official launch of the app on Sunday 5 April at 10am at the Great Synagogue. To RSVP: keedad@gmail.com

*It is advised to download the tour prior to attending the launch on the 5th April. Just search for A walk of Jewish Sydney in the App Store (iPhones) or in Google Play (Androids) 


One Response to “Take your phone for a walk around Sydney”
  1. Gary Luke says:

    The apps can be downloaded via the links near the bottom of this website. https://www.ajhs.com.au/wojs/

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