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Ballarat’s Jewish Heritage

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‘Ballarat’s Jewish Heritage’ is a conversation between writer and filmmaker John Safran and historian Dr Sue Silberberg. The conversation will draw on Sue’s deep family ties to Ballarat to explore the Jewish influence on our city’s social, political, and religious landscape in the nineteenth century.

During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, many Jewish migrants settled in Ballarat, establishing what is now the oldest surviving synagogue in mainland Australia. Other than mining, these new settlers established themselves in the community as shopkeepers, dressmakers and tradespeople. Many rose to positions of influence, serving as Mayors and Members of Parliament, and founding key public institutions. Jewish activists were involved in the events surrounding the Eureka Stockade.


John Safran is an award-winning writer and filmmaker whose storytelling has delivered a long list of iconic moments. His fourth book for Penguin Random House will be released in 2024.

Dr Sue Silberberg is a noted historian and author of ‘A Networked Community, Jewish Melbourne in the Nineteenth Century,’ which was shortlisted in the 2020 Victorian Community History Awards.

Image: ‘Augusta Levinson and nine children (with a maid) outside their house in Ballarat’, c 1875-1876 (detail). Photo courtesy of Dr Sue Silberberg.

A Ballarat Heritage Festival event presented by the Eureka Centre.

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Accessibility Information
  • Caters for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.
  • Caters for people who use a wheelchair.
23 May
6:00pm - 7:00pm

Eureka Centre Ballarat

102 Stawell Street South, Eureka VIC 3350
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