Hobart Synagogue was consecrated on July 4, 1845. It’s the oldest Jewish place of worship still in use in Australia, or anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere. The next-oldest is our sister synagogue in Launceston, which dates to 1846. You can read more about our earlier history here.
The synagogue is controlled by the Hobart Hebrew Congregation, which was founded in 1842 and has had an unbroken existence since. The congregation became an incorporated body by an Act of the Tasmanian Parliament in 1958.
The governing body of the congregation is a seven-person Board, which in recent times has always included members of both sexes. The Board is headed by the President of the congregation, and is elected at an Annual General Meeting. Other office-holders are the Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.
All financial members of the congregation are entitled to attend and vote at the Annual General Meeting, which is usually held in August or September.
The congregation was originally and for most of its existence aligned with the Orthodox stream of Judaism. However, the immigration to Tasmania during and after the Second World War of a number of Jews previously active in the Progressive movement eventually led to a change in its character.
Although the congregation is now affiliated to the Union for Progressive Judaism, we are committed to representing and welcoming as members adherents of all Jewish religious streams. In fact, we’re one of only two Jewish religious communities in Australia to embrace both Orthodox and Progressive members, and to offer services for both.
If you’re interested in joining our congregation, we’d love to have you. You can find an application form and more information here.