Edited by Stephen Levine
A Standard for the People
THE 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE WELLINGTON HEBREW CONGREGATION 1843-1993
RENAISSANCE PUBLISHING, 2020
Generated to mark the 150th anniversary of the Wellington Hebrew Congregation in 1993, the initial striking feature is its unique format: weighing in at close to 3 kg, A Standard for the People is a 34 by 24.5 by 3.5 cm hardcover colossus. The book was compiled by community member and renowned academic Stephen Levine, a political scientist and co-editor of books on all eight of New Zealand's elections, from 1996, under the Mixed-Member Proportional Representation (MMP) system. With A Standard, Professor Levine oversaw a community anthology, where numerous members collaborated to create an intricate portrait of their congregation’s family histories, and of the dynamic contributions by Wellington's Jews to the broader community, in addition to their own. Adorned with a painting by major late New Zealand painter Don Binney showing the synagogue that stood on The Terrace until 1976, A Standard for the People is one of the more unique portraits of an ethnic and/or religious community to be produced in Aotearoa-New Zealand.