Article in today’s Australian Jewish News

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Menachem Mendel Turnbull?

Malcolm Turnbull

IT’S official. Malcolm Turnbull is Jewish … well, at least as far as his mother was concerned.

Speaking to The AJN this week, the shadow minister for communications and broadband recalled his mother, the author and academic Coral Magnolia Lansbury, discussing her heritage.

“My mother always used to say that her mother’s family was Jewish,” the member for Wentworth said.

However, he added, “I’ve never researched it. I honestly don’t know where or how I would do that,”

Asked if his mother’s revelation has shaped his views he said: “Yes, maybe.”

“I grew up in the Eastern Suburbs and as we all observe there were a lot of Jews in the Eastern Suburbs and I have always been very comfortable.

“There is no doubt that the strong traditions of family and the whole heimishe atmosphere of the Jewish community, which I’m sure some people don’t like, for me – as someone who is a good friend, but not part of it – I find very admirable.”

Reflecting on his mother, he noted, “She had a lot of Jewish friends in Sydney and a lot of Jewish friends in Philadelphia, where she was living when she died.”

Jewish genealogist Eli Rabinowitz, who calls himself a mishpachah-ologist because he likes to connect people with their past, recently returned from the International Jewish Genealogical Conference in Boston.

He told The AJN if Turnbull is interested, he could help trace his Jewish lineage.

“It’s very possible for Malcolm to trace his heritage if he wants to from clues that he may have from his parents and grandparents,” Rabinowitz said.“I’d happily offer to help him if he would let me.”


Malcolm Turnbull candidly chats to The AJN. Photo: Gareth Narunsky.

5 Days in New York

A new experience for us – staying at City Lights on Long Island City. What a view!

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Washington Square and surrounds

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Central Park

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Strawberry Fields – the memorial to John Lennon

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Little Italy & Chinatown

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The Chassidim of Williamsburg

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The streets and buildings of NYC


Times Square

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The NY Subway


In the stores


Long Island City at night


JFK on our way home

A Jewish Wedding Day on an Island in BC Canada

Hi all

This was an unusual location and setting for a wedding.

The wedding took place two weeks ago on Sunday 4 August 2013  on Wolf Island, near East Sooke, on Vancouver Island BC Canada.

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The bride and groom live in London, with guests travelling from the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, the Bahamas and Nigeria. The groom’s family live in Perth, Australia.

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This blog focusses on the beautiful setting, not on the bride, groom or any particular guests.

The ceremony was in the orthodox tradition, conducted by Rabbi Dovid Freilich of Perth, Western Australia.

We left The Premier Best Western Sooke at 1:30pm for Becher Bay, East Sooke, where drinks were offered at the Smokin Tuna Cafe.

What a contrast between the locals of the caravan park and the dress suited and ball gowned guests!

After drinks, we boarded the “fleet” to Wolf Island.

Landing and making our way up to the house with its stunning view across to the USA.

Pre ceremony drinks and canapés

The chuppah with the amazing view. Entrees thereafter.

The dinner & dance in a location no reception centre could equal.

The end of a magnificent day.

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Boston Massachusetts – more on IAJGS

Getting there.

GoBus from NYC to Newton MA. Bus leaves from near Penns Station and stops at Newton and Cambridge MA. WiFi and power on board.

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A walk with cousins Rachelle and Murad around their Newton neighbourhood

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Getting to Boston and some city buildings near the conference

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Inside the IAJGS Conference at the Boston Park Hotel.

The hotel’s conference facilities were excellent.

Although I was only at the conference for a day and a half, I enjoyed the presentations I attended and thought that they were of a high standard. It was good to meet people I had corresponded with, for the first time.

I met the other Aussies who attended – see previous post. A fun bunch of people.

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The IAJGS International Jewish Genealogical Conference in Boston MA, USA

9 August 2013

The 33rd IAJGS International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Conference in Boston MA, USA was held from Aug 4 to 9.
This is the annual gathering of Jewish Genealogists from across the world who meet to discuss all aspects of genealogy from re examination of old family history documents, hundreds of years old, to new research methods such as DNA testing. Emphasis is on methodology as opposed to “story telling”, so attendees, who are both professionals and amateurs, take the conference seriously. At the end of each session, old colleagues and friends, and new acquaintances, greet each other in the corridors before moving on to the next talk, workshop or meeting.
On the last night, four awards are presented to a select group of achievers. This year JewishGen Kehilalinks won the award for the “Outstanding Contribution to Jewish Genealogy via the Internet, Print or Electronic Product”.
KehilaLinks has encouraged and assisted the creation of over 600 web pages commemorating the places where Jews have lived. The pages provide valuable information for each community, including maps, photographs, historical accounts, databases, links to other resources, and more. KehilaLinks pages also serve as a networking base for people interested in these ancestral communities. Introduced in 1996 as ShtetLinks, the project was renamed in 2011 to reflect its inclusion of Jewish communities throughout the world.
To view my kehilalinks, visit:
The Boston Park Hotel has been a hive of activity for the past 6 days and now everyone has packed up their family trees and are on their way home.

Here is the Australian contingent who journeyed from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to the Conference:

Left to right:
Rodney Eisfelder, Robyn Dryen, Judy Wilkenfeld, Myra Waddell, Eli Rabinowitz
Suzie Eisfelder, Evelyn Frybort, Esther Kahn, Rieke Nash, Naomi Bloch
Left to right:
Robyn Dryen, Judy Wilkenfeld, Jenni Buch, Myra Waddell, Eli Rabinowitz
Evelyn Frybort, Esther Kahn, Rieke Nash, Pam Karp