Profile of Tasmania’s Jewish community

Posted: 04 August 2022

Plus61J’s Nomi Kaltmann takes a look at Jewish life in Tasmania:

Why does Australia’s smallest state have the fastest growing Jewish community?

Exciting census results

Posted: 30 June 2022

The 2021 Australian census shows a 50% increase in Tasmanian Jews. 376 people identified as Jewish in the state, up from 250 in 2016 and 248 in 2011.

This is reflected in the congregation’s expanding membership numbers, and with new and exciting programs such as regular Hebrew classes for both children and adults.

It is clear that there’s interest in relocating to Tasmania’s beautiful scenery and quality of life. We feature a growing and diverse Jewish community, a historic synagogue, and exciting opportunities to help shape the congregation. If you are considering a move here, please get in touch!

Joe Rose exhibition

Posted: 15 March 2022

Former congregation member Joe Rose’s artwork will be on exhibition at the Masterpiece @IXL Gallery. The  exhibition opens at 2:00 pm, Sunday 20 March and will run for a fortnight.  The gallery is located at 4/19A Hunter Street.

Please check out the art gallery’s webpage, with a detailed biography of Joe Rose and a short video with his son and current congregation member Randy Rose.  

There is also a long feature on Joe Rose’s fascinating life and his career as a artist from 1999 (Australian Jewish News).

If you’re curious, one of Joe Rose’s paintings is displayed upstairs in the synagogue.

The Hobart Synagogue – The Design Inspiration

Posted: 03 March 2022

We’re often asked why the synagogue has such a unique design. The motivation behind the design is unknown, since no there’s no known documentation that gives a clear reason.

Local architect Peter Cripps has done extensive research on this matter, particularly involving the synagogue’s architect, James Alexander Thomson. Peter has uncovered some key information, and was kind enough to let us post his article on our website.

Synagogue-design-250222

Hobart Hebrew Kids Group

Posted: 25 November 2021

Happily, many children and young families have recently joined the Hobart Jewish Community.  As a result, a group called the Hobart Hebrew Kids Group (HHKG) has formed.

Morah Michal and pupils

The HHKG started its activities in February this year and has continued meeting every second Sunday of the month.  Its aim is to provide the children of the Jewish community the opportunity to engage in a small way with Jewish culture and the Hebrew language.

There are about 20 children on our list aged two years and over.  Not everyone comes to every event, but those that do turn up always have fun.  The children sing and dance Israeli songs, as well as play games with Hebrew letters, write and learn about the festivals and socialise with their friends.  They engage in hands on festival-inspired activities and crafts such as baking challot, building a succah from cardboard and creating a chanukiah from salt dough with candles made from pipe cleaners.  The parents come along too and participate in the activities and often catch up over coffee at the nearby farmers market after the session.

As well as the Sunday sessions, the HHKG also has had its own celebrations and festivals this year.  There was a lovely Tu B’shvat with fruit and tree planting in the garden, Lag B’Omer on the beach with a great big bonfire, and Shavuot in the Shule. Then there was a beautiful kids’ outdoors shabbat where the kids viewed the beach’s darkening skies to signal the arrival of the Shabbat.  And finally, last but not least, a fantastic Rosh HaShanah, where the TSO’s Israeli principal trumpet player blew the Shofar to a very enthusiastic audience.

We are hoping that many more families will join our little congregation and take part in the HHKG in the coming year.

On behalf of the HHKG I’d like to wish everyone a chag Chanukah same’ach!

-Michal Golebowicz


Welcome to visitors!

Posted: 24 June 2022

We are glad to continue to warmly welcome visitors from the “mainland”.

Tours of the synagogue are available- please visit our tour information page to learn more.

If you would like to attend a service, please view our schedule of services. If you plan on coming to a specific service, please complete the “Attend this service” form you can find on each service listing page, or contact us.

You can also read some more information for visitors.

We ask that you respect physical distancing (e.g. no handshakes, 1.5m between others)

If you have any further questions or need any assistance when you are in our lovely state, please feel free to contact us.

Conference paper on Tasmanian Jewish history

Posted: 21 July 2020

Stefan Petrow, Emeritus professor in History and Classics at the University of Tasmania prepared this research for a presentation at the panel discussion for Hobart Synagogue’s 175th anniversary. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, but Stefan is kindly sharing his research.

Surviving in a Distant Land: Jews in Nineteenth-Century Hobart
(kindly hosted by the Australian Jewish Historical Society)

New Digital Archive and radio interview

Posted: 28 June 2020

We are proud to release a new digital archive that showcases our historical documents and meeting minutes going back to 1841!

Congregation president Jeff Schneider and Beverley Hooper of Perth, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Judah Solomon spoke to ABC Radio Hobart about the history of the synagogue and building this archive. Listen to the interview

Additionally, there will be a Zoom session Sunday 26 July @ 3pm to go over interesting stories found in the meeting minutes and details on how the archive was created. To attend, please e-mail president@hobartsynagogue.org

SBS Radio on 175th anniversary

Posted: 19 July 2020

SBS Hebrew briefly covers the synagogue’s 175 anniversary in an interview with the Australian Jewish News’ Shane Desiatnik.

Listen to the clip. The part about Hobart is about 2/3rds in @ 6:15.

Australian Jewish News article

Posted: 06 July 2020

Thank you to the Australian Jewish News for reaching out to us and learning about our congregation for a long feature about our 175th anniversary and our proud history serving an inclusive Tasmanian Jewish community.

Read the article.