New South Wales Jewish War Memorial (Maccabean Hall)Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The New South Wales Jewish War Memorial ( known commonly as Maccabean Hall honouring the 'fighting Maccabees' of ancient Hebrew fame) was originally built as a memorial to the New South Wales Jewish soldiers and sailors who had served in the Great War of 1914 to 1918, and also stood as a symbol of the strength of commitment of Australian Jewry to king and country. 

On 11 November 1923, the NSW Jewish Memorial Hall, in Darlinghurst, Sydney, was officially opened to much fanfare by Sir John Monash, then thought of by many as the greatest living Australian.

The black marble forecourt of the New South Wales Jewish War Memorial serves as the entry to the Sydney Jewish Museum. The honour rolls inscribed on the walls contain the names of nearly 3,000 Jewish service people, including 177 who gave their lives in the service of Australia in the two World Wars. This impressive memorial provides the visitor with a consciousness of history from the outset of the visit.

Never in the history of Jewry in this State was there a more brilliant function than the historic occasion of the opening of the Maccabean Hall, that hall erected as a communal centre, as some recognition of the part that the Jewish soldiers of N.S.W. had played in the Great War.  His Honor Judge Cohen, then called upon Sir John to perform the opening ceremony, in doing so, he said: "I have very much pleasure in introducing to you Lieut. Gen. Sir John Monash, who has come to Sydney at great personal inconvenience to honour us by performing this opening ceremony today. On the portals of the entrance of this building is the following inscription: 'Maccabean  Hall, opened by Lieut. Gen. Sir John Monash, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., V.D., Armistice Day. 11/11/1923— and that will at least bear everlasting testimony to the respect and affection in which he is held by the Jewish Community of this State. In asking you, Sir John, to unveil the Honour Roll placed in the foyer of this building, and later on to declare the Hall open, I should like briefly to state that the idea of the erection of this building emanated in the desire to have a communal hall, where all Jewish activities might assemble." 

The honour roll contains the names of 828 men, 113 having made the supreme sacrifice.
The Hebrew Standard of Australasia (Sydney), 16 November 1923.



Address:Darlinghurst Road, Sydney Jewish Museum, Darlinghurst, 2011
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.879
Long: 151.220173
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Conflict
Monument Designer:Gordon Keesing (architect)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 11th November, 1923
Front Inscription
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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