About Us

Who we are

South Brisbane Hebrew Congregation is a small but vibrant
family-oriented orthodox synagogue in the southern suburbs of Brisbane.

We offer a wide range of activities, including synagogue services and
social and educational activities.

The synagogue is renowned for its warm and friendly atmosphere as we
gather to pray, observe Shabbat and festivals, or to commemorate special
anniversaries and yahrzeits. Our doors are always open for people to
find support and to make a connection with the Jewish world in Brisbane.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in all aspects of Synagogue life.
Our services are attended by a core group of dedicated individuals and
we always welcome guests to join us. Our High Holiday Services are a
time of reflection when we join together, for an uplifting and
inspirational service.

Where we came from

The South Brisbane Hebrew Congregation was established in 1915 by a
group of immigrants, most of whom had fled to Australia, escaping from
persecution in Russia, via Siberia or Manchuria.

They established a Synagogue in Deshon Street, Buranda, which, at the
time, was known as Little Jerusalem and the sounds of spoken Yiddish and
Russian were common.   A large community hall was built adjacent to the
Synagogue, which quickly became a centre for Jewish life in Brisbane.
The hall was the scene for weddings, bar and bat mitzvot and other
celebrations, concerts and community events and meetings and was
home for organisations such as the Judean scouts and sports club 
(which became Macabbi).  A soccer team even trained at the hall - on a
blackboard.  Needless, to say with limited success.     

In later years the hall was rented out to provide much needed regular revenue 
for the congregation.  At that time a smaller hall was built attached to the
other side of Shule for kiddushim and functions.  A larger kitchen was 
added in the late 1960s. 

Unfortunately, Deshon Street was notoriously flood prone and the Torah
scrolls and other holy itmes were often evacuated, sometimes by boat.
Pictures of the evacuations often appeared in local newspapers.

Tragically, the shule was destroyed by fire by 1976 and services were
temporarily held in the minister's house in Vanda Street with high holiday
services in a public hall in Hubert Steet at Wooloongabba.  These were
uncertain times for the community as it struggled with no permanent
home and dwinindling membership.  However, the fund raising continued
and, for years, the congregation conducted a well known weekly bingo
evening, which was popular amongst the local community starved of
other legal gambling options.  Within 3 years a new site was purchased
high on a hill in Bunya Street, Greenslopes.  Services commenced initially
in a house moved from the Bunya Street frontage to a parallel Cedar
Street frontage, until the current building was consecrated in 1979.

Over the years the shule has been assisted by first a Ladies Auxilliary
and more recently a group of other volunteers who have assisted the Shule
with catering for functions and other assistance around the shule.  

While the synagogue has always remained an independent orthodox
congregation, the house in Cedar St became the first Chabad House in
Brisbane in the early 1980s with congregant, Ken Thomas, becoming
the first official Chabad representative in Brisbane.  Services were
conducted for many years with assistance from bachorim from the
Sydney Yeshiva Gedola.

The synagogue has remained a dynamic feature of Jewish life in Brisbane
and a symbol for all of Brisbane with a menorah built by former President,
George Stein, prominent on the skyline.   



Mr I Meerkin
Rev E Belfer
Rev Levine
Mr I Smith
Mr J Smith
Rev Mendelson
Rabbi Tapoohi
Rev B Belfer
Rev Klein
Mr K Kugelmas
Mr M Miszkowski
Mr B Guralnik
Rev Gesheit
Rabbi Y Ben David
Mr S Ancri
L Jaffe
Rabbi Y Wernick
Mr C Sufrin

with the grateful assistance from generations of bachorim from the
Sydney Yeshiva Gedolah and lay readers. 

Presidents of the Congregation

J Levy
B Cohen
D Baratin
I Meerkin
I Doobov
M Meerkin
A I Cohen
Z Berkhut
A D Cohen 
E Doobov
B Guralnek
C Trigger
G Stein
L Zeilinger
K Thomas
R Graham 



We have Brisbane's only mikveh on our grounds.  To use the mikveh,
contact Rebecca on 0402 039 956