Jewish Population Grows in Australia, Shapes in Country’s Prosperity

Australia’s Jewish population has tripled in a little over four decades according to a World Jewish Congress survey published today. From a Jewish population of 17,287 in 1911, the Jewish community of the commonwealth now numbers in excess of 55,000.

The recent statistics, listed in a report by Dr. Isaac Schwarzbart, director of the WJC Organization Department, reveal that 90 percent of these 55,000 Jewish men, women and children live in the two Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales, while the remaining 10 percent is dispersed over the northern, western and remaining southern a east of the commonwealth and in the capital territory, Canberra.

Australia’s total population stands at approximately nine million two-thirds of whom live in Victoria and New South Wales. At the end of 1954, the Jewish population of Australia constituted 0.59 of one percent of the total population, or 59 Jews in every ten thousand of total population. According to the WJC report, Australian Jews have made a significant contribution to the industrialization of the commonwealth and share in the general prosperity and full employment.

The Federal Parliament has no Jewish members at this time, but a Jew is serving as Minister in the Cabinet of the state of New South Wales. “Jews are playing a notable role the cultural life of the country, and at the same time show a tendency toward greater interest in Jewish life. Mixed marriages have been a matter of deep concern for a long time, but in the state of Victoria,” the survey asserts, “mixed marriages have been reduced almost to a negligible percentage.”

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