Queensland’s Jewish community dates back to the early 1800s and its first synagogue was established in 1886.
What has made today’s local Jewish community so dynamic and vital, however, has been the immigration since World War II. In various waves of immigration over the past 50 years, Jews have come here from all over Europe, Israel and South Africa bringing the strength of their heritage and connection to traditional Judaism.
Immigrants to both Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Cairns and more recently the Sunshine Coast have helped boost the presence of Judaism and its observance.
The range of Jewish practice in Queensland today is diverse. It includes Orthodox, Progressive and unaffiliated. There are thee Orthodox congregations, two in Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast. Likewise there are three Progressive congregations (albeit smaller), two in Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast.
Chabad are strongly represented in both Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with educational, social events and activities being offered to the community.
On the Gold Coast, Chabad offers a respite for Jewish tourists and backpackers during the week, and specifically over Shabbat and festivals.
Communal members in Cairns and the Sunshine Coast do gather for festivals, often with assistance from either Brisbane or southern states.
Anyone coming to Queensland, either to reside or visit will be able to find in this open and tolerant community a place for engaging Jewish expression. Judaism exists throughout the world, and the world of Judaism can be found in Queensland.