Religion

The Surprising Extent of Australian Jewishness

The recent media coverage of anti-Semitism prompts a look at the history of Jews in Australia. Australia may be the only country with a Jewish presence dating to the first days of European settlement. Among the 751 convicts transported in the First Fleet, fifteen can be identified as Jews. The Jewish percentage of the white population was at its highest the day the First Fleet landed. Although it has never since exceeded 0.65 per cent of the population, the early Jewish arrivals and the high rate of intermarriage account for the large number of Australians who are not Jewish but…

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