The Australian Jewish Historical Society in conjunction with the Australian Jewish Genealogical Society and the Lamm Jewish Library presents:
Dr. Sue Silberberg
Speaking with Rabbi Emeritus Dr John Levi AM about her new book:
“A Networked Community”
In 1835 a renegade group of Tasmanians, including Jewish emancipist Joseph Solomon, disembarked in what was to become Melbourne. Thus, as in the settlement of the continent itself, Jews were at the foundation of colonisation.
Unlike many other settlers, these Jews predominantly came from urban backgrounds and applied their experience to the formation of a new emancipated conceptualisation of urban Judaism. In Melbourne there were no civil or political restrictions on the Jewish community, and the political and social environment of a new city provided a unique set of opportunities. Here Jews could live and work where they chose becoming active citizens in the formation of the colony.,. As developers and builders they influenced the formation of the city’s urban fabric, while their intellectual and economic connections brought new political and intellectual ideas and networks to the colonial experience.
This was a community which remained connected to mainstream Anglo-Orthodoxy, while simultaneously realizing that new freedoms required a response to religious practices which were relevant to a new world.
Dr. Sue Silberberg is a historian, curator and arts administrator. She was educated at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Deakin University and the International Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Material (ICCROM). She holds a doctorate in History from the University of Melbourne, where she has been a research fellow at the eScholarship Research Centre. Previously Silberberg worked in both London and Victoria as a museum curator and director, specialising in historic buildings. She has held senior government positions within the arts and was the director of the Cultural Festival for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.