Jewish Historical & Genealogical Society of WA Inc.

The Society:

Our society was formed in 2003 when the WA Jewish Genealogical Society merged with the Western Australian Jewish Historical Society which had been founded more than 50 years earlier. We comprise a group of people, Jewish and non-Jewish, with an interest in Western Australian and world Jewish history and/or a desire to trace our Jewish heritage.

The historical and genealogical sides of our society blend to encompass not just Western Australia but indeed the whole world.

Its purposes are to:

  • Encourage the study of the history of Australian Jewry and most especially Western Australian Jewry.
  • Foster the knowledge of genealogy and family history and assist family historians with their research.
  • Help compile and preserve the life histories of Jewish individuals in Western Australia.
  • Conduct courses and meetings on issues of Jewish history and genealogy for members of the Jewish and wider community in Western Australia.
  • Advance knowledge of Western Australian Jewish history and genealogy in the Australian community.
  • Collect, archive and make accessible, documents, photographs and artefacts relating to Western Australian Jewish history.
  • Secure the preservation of places of Jewish communal interest in Western Australia, such as old synagogue buildings and cemeteries.
  • Promote research into and knowledge of world Jewish history and its implications for current and future generations.

PRESIDENT: John Urban
VICE-PRESIDENT: Michelle Urban OAM 
HONORARY SECRETARY: Michael Anderson
HONORARY TREASURER: Brenda Austin
COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Warren Austin, Lynette Chester, Helen Hill, Sue Levy, Jonathan Wolf
LIBRARIAN: Sue Levy

What We Do

The goal of the JHGSWA is to provide an access point both socially and online for anyone who is seeking information regarding Jewish history and genealogy in Western Australia or elsewhere.

MONTHLY MEETINGS:

Our society holds monthly meetings where members and non-members are welcome to attend. We vary the meetings between genealogical interest and historical interest. We hold about 10 meetings each year at premises generously made available at the Chabad Northern Suburbs Synagogue.

Speakers: We have speakers on both historical and genealogical aspects. We take pride in selecting outstanding people of genuine interest and enthusiasm.

Computer workshops: These popular meetings help those interested in setting up a family tree on their computer and researching different sites for genealogical information.

Movies: Historical movies are occasionally shown.

Outings: The society conducts historical walks in both Perth and Fremantle, and other events.

RESOURCES:

Our society holds a large collection of Jewish historical and Genealogical resources. These include a repository for historical documents and items, a record of Jewish historical sites and cemeteries, an archived oral history and a library.

Please visit our RESOURCES tab to find out more about what we offer.

REPOSITORY FOR HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS AND ITEMS:

Historical documents and items are collected and held in storage for safe keeping. The Society hopes one day to have documents and items on display in a museum and research facility. Some documents are already available for research.

RECORDING AND MAINTAINING JEWISH HISTORICAL SITES AND CEMETERIES:

Our society has recorded a large number of Jewish cemeteries and lonely remote graves throughout the whole State. Our members have restored a large number of the remote graves. This data may be found at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Cemetery/index.asp
A project to photograph and document the Jewish graves at Karrakatta is in progress.

ORAL HISTORY:

The collection of oral history is an on-going project. Our society believes that oral history is a unique way to give future generations a direct link back to their ancestors. If you would like access to these records or contribute your own story, please contact us.

LIBRARY:

We have an extensive library collection available for members to borrow. The collection covers all aspects of Jewish life and history, Holocaust and Biography. We have a small Fiction section and a large range of genealogy resources encompassing most of the world and Jewish civilization.

ADVICE AND INFORMATION:

We are always pleased to give advice and information to all people who are researching the history of their ancestors.