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(An answer to the question on the census was optional.) The majority are Ashkenazi Jews, many of them refugees and Holocaust survivors who arrived during and after World War II, and their descendants.
Jewish citizens make up about 0.5% of the Australian population.
There are also a number of published monographs on aspects of Australian Jewish history, for a guide to which (as well as to Australian Jewish literature) Serge Liberman, A Bibliography of Australasian Judaica, 1788-2008 (2011) is a distinguished reference work.
Australian Jews never constituted more than 1% of the total colonial community.
In addition, thousands of highly observant Jews immigrated from South Africa and settled in Perth.
Jews also began to assemble in Melbourne, then in the Port Phillip District (now Victoria).
Initially, they settled in rural areas, but by the end of the 19th century the lack of Jewish communal connections and fear of assimilation led most Australian Jews in rural areas to relocate to the Jewish centres in cities.
As a result, the rapidly growing community in Sydney needed larger facilities, and built the Great Synagogue, located on Elizabeth Street, opposite Hyde Park, which was consecrated in 1878.
The congregation used a number of venues as temporary places of worship, including a building in the grounds of Samuel Davis's home at North Quay (the house later known as Aubigny), while raising money through various land speculations to purchase a site and build a synagogue.
Jewish refugees from Russia and Poland began arriving in the 1890s, fleeing pogroms in their native lands.