To what did they come? Life was harsh. The first 10 years were a period of financial crisis, food shortages and near bankruptcy of the land fund. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a tenet of Judaism and benevolent societies. The Jewish Benefit Society, Adelaide Jewish Philanthropic Society and Jewish Ladies’ Benevolent Society, established and funded by donations and subscriptions, provided assistance to those in distress.

By 1851 the colony had stabilized and times were easier. 1849 heralded an exodus to the goldfields of California, and in 1852 to the goldfields of Central Victoria and Bathurst in New South Wales. 18,000 had left the colony for the diggings by 1853. In 1856 the Constitution emphasizing Civil and Religious Liberties received royal assent in England, and on 4 April 1857, the South Australian Parliament came into existence.

Emanuel Solomon (1800-1873) an emancipist from New South Wales arrived in South Australia in 1839. A trader, auctioneer and  dabbler in theatricals.

Phillip Levi (1822-1898) arrived aboard the ‘Eden’ in 1838 with J.M. Phillipson. Both played an important part in pastoral development in South Australia. Levi was one of the founders of the Ad elaide Club; his portrait hangs above the stairs.

John Lazar (d. 1897) actor and lessee of the Queen’s Theatre and later jewelry shop owner. Elected in 1858 to the Adelaide City Council and served as Alderman then Mayor (1855-1858).

Joseph Barrow Montefiore (1803-1893): one of the original trustees of the State Savings Bank; member of the governing body of the Chamber of Commerce and of the Stock Exchange.

Vaiben Louis Solomon (1853-1919): Journalist in Palmerston (now Darwin) for some years. Represented the Territory in the SA Parliament and was Premier for seven days. In 1897 was elected to the Federal Convention for the framing of the Constitution for the Federation of States. After Federation he was elected to the first House of Representatives. The photograph is from the collection of the Mortlock Library of South Australia.

Broken Hill Hebrew Congregation. The Krantz family, like many who fled from Russian pogroms in the 1880s, settled first in Broken Hill, and then came to Adelaide.


Mr Joel Morris married Katherine Hains, thus uniting two families with strong Port Adelaide ties. He was a founder of the Port Adelaide Co-Operative Building Society and Port Adelaide Corporation Councilor. He was a founder and vice president of the Port Adelaide Football Club with many other sporting interests.

By 1861 and 1881 there were a few families living in the country towns of Clare, Gawler, Jamestown, Kadina, Moonta, Port Augusta and Port Pirie. In the main they were hotelkeepers.

Abraham Jacob Solomon, aged 26 and Julia, his wife aged 20, arrived at Port Adelaide in 1849. He was the first Reader at the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation. He officiated at the consecration of the first Synagogue in September 1850 and from 1850-1876 performed over 150 circumcisions in city and country homes. On returning from the Victorian Goldfields he was licensee of the Victoria Theatre and early hotels’ Theatre Inn, Temple Tavern and Blenheim.

Mrs Esther Solomon, born in London 1775, died Adelaide 1875. Written up in George Layout’s book “Notable South Australians” published 1885, as “the only known centenarian in the colony”. Her grave is in West Terrace Cemetery.

Maurice Salom (1832-1903) came to Australia in 1853 via the Cape Colony. He entered Parliament in the Downer Ministry in 1883 and in 1887 fathered the South Australian First Offenders Act. He was involved in many public institutions.

Solomon Saunders (1838-1920) settled in Adelaide in 1863. Respected for his erudition and philanthropy, his leadership spanned 57 years as Reader, Choir Leader, and President of the Anglo-Jewish Association and of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation in the years 1878-79, 1891-94 and 1905-39.

Celebrating the festival of Succoth in 1897 at “Fairview”, Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide, the home of Mr and Mrs Solomon Saunders from 1886-1921.