History of the BHC

On 7 July 1884 the foundation stone of the Brisbane Synagogue was laid. A competition had been held, and the winning design was that of Italian-born architect Andrea Stombuco whose works did much to beautify Brisbane. A year later a  distinguished gathering, with many congregants and interstate visitors,  attended the consecration of the finished synagogue. It had cost £6,450 and is in the Byzantine style of architecture. It was opened free of debt.

Jews settled in Queensland in the very first days of   the colony and in other parts of Australia. Some were government officials,   doctors, scientists, merchants, tradesmen or farmers, and some were convicts.   They spread to all parts of this huge State. Though their numbers were, and   still are, small, Jewish place names can be found in many locations in Queensland and Jewish names are on gravestones in remote cemeteries.

Apart from those from the British Isles, waves of migrants have come from every European country. The Russian Tsar and Hitler caused many Jews to emigrate from their countries. Others hoped to find their fortunes as in the case of prospectors who came to seek gold. South Africa and the Far East have also been sources of Jewish migration.

In March 1865 a meeting was called to find a temporary place of worship and   it was agreed that a room in Bulcock’s Building, Queen Street, be leased for   the purpose. At a meeting on 19 March 1865, the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation officially came into being.

This was commemorated exactly 100 years later by the erection of a plaque on the site on the portico of the Commonwealth Bank’s main office.

The congregation also had a burial ground on land that the former Lang Park came to occupy.

In 1913 those who were buried there, and their monuments, were relocated to the Jewish section of the Toowong Cemetery.

The congregation’s archives, beautifully handwritten in the rich language of  yesteryear, have been preserved in the Brisbane Synagogue.

In them are described the early struggles, hopes, successes and disappointments of this small congregation. Though its name is the Brisbane   Hebrew Congregation, in keeping with tradition, a spiritual name was also   chosen – “The Holy Congregation of the Gates of Faith”, and both   names are to be seen over the portal of the Brisbane Synagogue, erected 21 years after inauguration.

This is an extract from an article written by B.H.C. Life Member the late Morris Orchert Z.L. The full pdf file is available for download using the link below.

Download pdf file

Shabbat and Festival Times

Fri 4th April: Light Candles 5.26pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 5th 6.17pm

Fri 11th April: Light Candles 5.18pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 12th 6.10pm

Mon14th April: Erev Pesach Light Candles 5.15pm
Tues 15th April: Pesach Light Candles after 6.07pm

Fri 18th April: Light Candles 5.11pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 19th 6.03pm

Sun 20th April: Erev Pesach Day 7 Light Candles 5.09pm
Mon 21st April: Light Candles after 6.01pm
Pesach ends: Tues 22nd 6pm

Fri 25th April: Light Candles 5.04pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 26th 5.57pm

Fri 2nd May: Light Candles 4.59pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 3rd 5.52pm

Fri 9th May: Light Candles 4.53pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 10th 5.47pm

Fri 16th May: Light Candles 4.49pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 17th 5.43pm

Fri 23rd May: Light Candles 4.46pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 24th 5.41pm

Fri 30th May: Light Candles 4.44pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 31st 5.39pm

Tues 3rd June: Erev Shavuot Light Candles 4.43pm
Wed 4th June:
Light Candles after 5.38pm
Shavout ends: Thurs 5th 5.38pm

Fri 6th June: Light Candles 4.43pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 7th 5.38pm

Fri 13th June: Light Candles 4.42pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 14th 5.38pm

Fri 20th June: Light Candles 4.43pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 21st 5.39pm

Fri 27th June: Light Candles 4.45pm
Shabbat ends: Sat 28th 5.41pm