Still trending this week on the AJN Australian Jewish News website:
Menachem Mendel 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.