The cover of A Standard for the People features a stylised painting evocative of the spirit of the second Wellington Synagogue situated amidst colonial era buildings. Click to enlarge image.
A Standard for the People, edited by Stephen Levine, was published to mark the 150th anniversary of the first Jewish service in New Zealand in 1843, and provides a fascinating record of a Jewish community, that although small, has had a distinctive impact both within New Zealand and the wider Jewish world.
The narrative ranges from an account of the founding of the congregation and its early years to the sacrifices of the Wellington Jewish ANZACS who fought at Gallipoli with the combined Australian and New Zealand Armoured Corps (ANZAC), and to their participation in the renewal of their ancient homeland. It also documents some of the contributions made by Wellington Jews to New Zealand society - prominent industrialists, a Wellington Mayor, a New Zealand Chief Justice. Includes brief histories of a number of Wellington families, some with colonial roots, others with harrowing experiences in the Holocaust. And the story of the Treister family who developed
Large format 2135 x 1110 mm 478 pages Many illustrations.
Some copies are still available from the New Zealand Jewish Archives at $100 including (surface) postage world-wide.
Notes on Jewish Participation in New Zealand HistoryContributed by Michael Clements
Click here, to access this key article.
The New Zealand Jewish Archives
Since 1980 the New Zealand Jewish Archives has been collecting, storing, and filing
documents, photographs, memorabilia, Judaica, books, pamphlets, newspaper cuttings,
oral recordings and video tapes about Jewish life in New Zealand. The collection includes
some of the earliest synagogue and other communal records for New Zealand.
The organisation was conceived in the early 1980's but, as more people have come to
know about it, the collection has grown tremendously - especially over the last few years.
To contact the New Zealand Jewish Archives
Links - an annotated list
Books on the New Z ealand Jewish Community and History
Jewish Community Centre, Wellington, home to the Archives, in 2006.
Opening page of Wellington Community Death Register, showing the first deaths recorded.
Click thumbnail to view larger image.
Deep Within the NZJ Archives.
One of the storage rooms of the NZ Jewish Archives is a battleax shaped room behind the Ark in the Center. Here, in the narrow corridor that is the handle of the battleax, archivist Michael Clements displays one the illuminated addresses within the archives collection. Each of these illuminated addresses was presented to a prominent person on a landmark occassion, are historically unique, and in their expression of esteem often present contemporary attitudes not otherwise available to the researcher.