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Israel Porush

(1907 - 1991)

PORUSH, ISRAEL (1907–1991), Australian rabbi. Porush was born in Jerusalem and, after receiving a traditional religious education in the talmud torah and yeshivah Eẓ Ḥayyim of the old yishuv, he proceeded to Berlin to study at the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary, where he received his rabbinical diploma in 1932, and at the universities of Berlin and Marburg, where he received his doctorate in mathematics. On Hitler's rise to power in 1933, Porush moved to London and was appointed rabbi of the Finchley Synagogue (1934–1940). In the latter year, he was appointed to the Great Synagogue of Sydney, the mother congregation of Australian Jewry, and became Av bet din, retaining that position after his retirement at the end of 1972. Porush was regarded as the Orthodox spiritual head of Australian Jewry and rabbinic representative of the community in state and civic affairs. In 1952, he founded the Association of Jewish Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, of which he was president. He was also president of the Jewish Historical Society of Australia from 1948. He retired in 1975 when he also resigned as president of the association and was appointed honorary life president. Porush wrote Today's Challenge to Judaism (1972) and The House of Israel, A History of the Sydney Great Synagogue (1977), published on the occasion of its centenary (1878–1978). His manuscript autobiography, Memoirs of an Australian Rabbi, was published posthumously by the Australian Jewish Historical Society in 1993.


W.D. Rubinstein, Australia II, index.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.