ABC Radio tours the synagogue

Posted: 17 June 2019

ABC Radio Hobart visited the synagogue and interviewed our acting president David Clark.

This is a twelve minute feature that has many fascinating historic details about our synagogue.

Listen at this link.

Kosher wine now available in Hobart

Posted: 16 June 2019

The new Dan Murphy’s in New Town has Kosher Sacramental wine!

Dan Murphy’s (191 New Town Rd, New Town) is located across from the Kmart shopping centre on the corner of New Town and Risdon Road.

You may want to ring to confirm the Sacramental wine is in stock before making a trip, 1300 72 33 88.

ABC Radio interview about synagogue

Posted: 10 May 2019

Congregation members Lisa Eckstein and Jeff Schneider recently conducted an interview with Joel Rheinberger of ABC Radio Hobart.

Topics discussed include the 175th anniversary of the synagogue, and what it is like being in a smaller Jewish community.

You may listen to the broadcast here.

A wonderful Pesach 2019!

Posted: 09 May 2019

This year we had an excellent turnout for our Communal Seder held in the hall behind Scots Church.  52 people, including a family group of 12 from Melbourne attended. It was great to having such a large crowd present, particularly 11 children that made this a family oriented event. 

Everyone contributed to a wonderful assortment of food for dinner. Nobody went home hungry! Many thanks to those who helped with preparation and cleaning up. 

Jordana led the Seder in a relaxed engaging manner inviting participation throughout.   The young children from Melbourne added to the night by singing a Yiddish song. Over dinner it was lovely to see spirited discussions and conversations. 

The success of the evening bodes well for our future as a growing congregation and community.

‘Next Year Jerusalem’


On behalf of the congregation, many thanks to our event coordinator Louise for organising Pesach, and for this write-up!

ANZAC Service

Posted: 06 May 2019

On ANZAC Day 2019, the congregation continued the tradition of honoring ANZAC Day.  Stephen Graetzer led a short service for a small group of members representing three generations of Jewish Hobartians. 

After the service, we walked to the Centopath where a beautiful wreath with a Magan David was laid as part of the ceremony. 

Here’s an article from 1934 about this same service, in The Mercury.


175th Anniversary weekend

Posted: 04 May 2019

The Hobart Synagogue was consecrated on 4 July 1845. On the weekend of 4 July 2020, we will be celebrating the synagogue’s 175th anniversary.

We are in the early stages of planning the event and details will shared in the next few months.

In addition to congregation members (current and past), we also welcome descendants of the many families that were vital to our congregation’s survival to play a special part in this celebration.

If you would like more information or to be added to a list for further updates, please complete our contact form.

Visiting rabbis lead joyous Simchat Torah

Posted: 12 October 2018

The congregation was pleased to welcome two visiting Progressive rabbis for Simchat Torah services this year.

Rabbis Kinneret Shiryon from Modi’in in Israel and JoEllen Duckor from Wellington in New Zealand led a joyous service filled with enthusiastic singing and dancing with the Torahs. As the service was geared towards children, the atmosphere in the synagogue was imbued with youthful excitement and curiosity.

Congregants and Rabbis in the shul after the Simchat Torah service

Congregants and Rabbis in the shul after the Simchat Torah service

After beginning with renditions of songs including Hevenu Shalom Aleichem and Kol Ha’Olam Kulo, the rabbis invited everyone onto the bimah to take a close look at the Torah scroll. The care and precision taken by sofrim (scribes) when writing scrolls was then explained. Attendees young and older then took turns dancing with the Torah in seven circuits around the shul accompanied by festive songs such as Hava Nagila.

An excellent turnout was on on hand to enjoy the special yomtov service. Rabbi JoEllen provided an apt summary of the night: “It was so beautiful to witness the young families and the older generation mix as we celebrated together the ongoing cycle of Torah in the historical Hobart Synagogue. We feel privileged to have been able to share this unique experience with the Hobart Jewish community.”

Vice-regal tour of shul

Posted: 02 July 2018

The shul has been honoured by a visit from the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC.

Accompanied by her husband Richard and an aide-de-camp, Professor Warner toured the shul for one hour on 20 June, 2018.

The tour was led by Daniel Albert, one of a group of three volunteer guides who introduce visitors to the synagogue and its history throughout the year.

The vice-regal party took particular interest in the precious historical objects on display in the shul. They marvelled at the ornate Victorian chandelier over the bimah as Daniel explained the various technologies used to generate light from it over the years.  Daniel also shared his extensive knowledge of the Czechoslovak Torah scroll rescued from from the Nazis.

Professor Warner and her husband were interested to learn more about Judaism and were given a general overview of Jewish practices and customs, along with an overview of the congregation and Australian Jewry.

Some of the colourful personalities integral to the congregation’s history were discussed.  Daniel explained the role of Judah Solomon, who first provided a venue for Jewish services in his home, Temple House, and then donated the land on which the synagogue was built. Isaac Friedman, the first Hungarian migrant to Australia, and Phineas Moss, who was a prominent 19th century science lecturer, were also covered.

Tours of the synagogue can be organised for all members of the public on request, subject to the availability of guides and provided at least 48 hours’ notice is given. More information including a link to an online tour booking form can be found here.

Newspaper features Launceston shul

Posted: 01 July 2018

An issue of the Launceston Examiner earlier in 2018 carried an article on the history of Launceston’s synagogue, the second oldest still in use in Australia (with Hobart shul being the oldest).

The article was published on May 13. It has the unfortunate and slightly misleading headline ‘Spiritual heart now quiet’, but otherwise traces the history of the synagogue from when it was first proposed in the early 1840s, with a focus on the early years.

The controversy following Governor Franklin’s refusal of a land grant for the shul is covered, while illustrations accompanying the online version of the article show a range of photos and reports culled from the Examiner’s files.

The online story including the illustrations can be viewed here.

Anyone living in Launceston or the north of Tasmania who would like to belong to an inclusive Jewish community organisation is very welcome to apply to join the Hobart Hebrew Congregation.

A Northern Coordinator has been appointed to represent the interests of the group of members living in the northern part of the state.

More information on joining Hobart shul, including a link to the membership application form, is available on this page of the website.

Digital library showcases community history

Posted: 12 June 2018

A digital library that chronicles the remarkable history of the Jewish community in Hobart has been posted by the congregation.

The library includes more than 300 records, starting with an 1839 newspaper article detailing an early Yom Kippur service. Several items specifically relate to the history of the synagogue.

The website hosting the library can be accessed here. It is meticulously organised, with researchers easily able to track down resources relating to a wide array of subjects.

The material provides fascinating insights into some of the colourful personalities who have helped maintain an active Jewish presence in Tasmania despite the community’s small numbers. There is also an active blog that highlights particularly interesting themes.

The library has been created by the shul’s Treasurer, Jeff Schneider. He explained what motivated him to take on the project: “When reading about our congregation’s history in the book A Few From Afar, I developed an immense respect for the dedicated members who have overcome adversity to keep the congregation active for nearly 175 years.”

“After discovering several fascinating newspaper articles through the National Library of Australia’s Trove archive, I thought it would be useful to provide a central location for those wanting to research our long and storied history.”