We are an orthodox synagogue in the inner west city of Sydney.

At Newtown Centre For Jewish Life , Jewish people come together for a wide variety of social events imbued with a great connection to our Jewish identity.
Mostly,  people come to meet friends and make new ones in a really chilled environment. Yet they always walk away somehow for the better.
You may come to a Friday night dinner, a friendly BBQ or an intelligent lecture on some great topic or you may need a little one on one time with the most accepting and non-judgmental Rabbi in the Inner West!


Synagogue History

1883 Organised Jewish life in Newtown started in about 1883 in the form of a minyan held at the home of Abram and Naomi Solomon at 6 Georgina Street, around 50 meters from the current site of the Synagogue. The minyan then moved to the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. Selig of Alice Street, Newtown. As the numbers of those attending grew, the congregation rented rooms at the Oddfellows Hall in Wilson Street. The first Minister to hold a position at the Synagogue was Reverend Isaac Morris, who had recently arrived from Cardiff.

1904 The name for the Synagogue was decided. Mikveh Yisroel means “the Hope of Israel” or possibly “the Bath of Israel” referring to the talmudic idea – that the bath that cleanses Israel is their Father in Heaven.

1912 Land was purchased in L’Avenue, now known as Georgina Street.

1917 Reverend A. T. Chodowski was appointed, who, as well as conducting Services worked to provide child education and kosher meat to the community.

1918 A ceremony of laying the foundation stones for the synagogue was held in June.

1919 At 3pm on the afternnon of Sunday 7th September, the new Synagogue was overflowing with a broad representation of Sydney’s Jewish community.

1921-1936 Rabbi Lenzer oversaw strong growth of the congregation and inspired Synagogue membership and participation.

1936-1955 Reverend I. Rabinovitch then took over until his death in 1955.

1957-1969 Reverend B. Skolnick

1973-1993 Reverend S. Piaster

1993-1997 Rabbi Y. Wernick was commited to community leadership.

1997-2001 Rabbi D. Friedman

2001-2004 Rabbi Levi Selwyn and Rebbitzen Naomi successfully expanded the spiritual depth of the Jewish community in Sydney through education programs, which included classes on everything from Kabbalah to Talmudic Law, and the deep, internal significance of the Talmudic stories; through community outreach in arenas that varied from hospital rooms to the street corners where one could share the mitzvah of learning to put on Teffilin, and a kosher vegetarian falafel stand at the Newtown Fair Day; and through magical holiday programs, each sporting a unique theme, such as the famous Seventies Disco Purim Party, complete with strobe lights and a mural painted just for the occasion, to the Purim Puppet Show that was the centerpiece one year of the children’s Purim program.

2004-2005 Acting Rabbi Mottel Gestetner fullfilled a vitial roll of keeping the services and community dinners going while the board searched for a full time rabbi. Mottel is continuing his university studies and we wish him our best. He is, and always will be, considered a part of the Newtown Community.

2005 – 2010 Rabbi and Rebbetzen Rosenthal have come to Newtown. Their enthusiasam and excitment was welcomed here and they have already become an integral part of our small and unique community.

2011 – 2012 Period of Visting Rabbis and lay service.  Our thanks to Rabbi Jeffery Cohen, Shmuel Maryasin,Rabbi Shudnow, Rabbi Cohen, Rabbi Friedman, and special thanks to Jacov Smeke Levy for filling the gap when he could.

2012 – present Rabbi Eli and Rebbetzin Shani Cohen …

Five generations of Jews have participated in the life of this congregation. Australia has few Jewish communal buildings, which carry the heritage, history and architectural merit that the Newtown Synagogue pocesses. Continuity of Jewish life is an ideal that motivates those who work and participate in the life of the Synagogue.

Our Rabbi

eliRabbi Eli Cohen is the beloved spiritual leader of our eclectic Jewish Community located in the Inner West of Sydney.  He has a passionate love for people and community and is open, accepting and non-judgemental.

Follow him on twitter.



Please note that applications for new membership are considered by the Board before they are approved. If you wish to apply for membership, please complete the application form below, but do not send money until the administrator has contacted you.

Existing members – renew your membership now



Single Adult  $400.00
Two Adults Same address $500.00
Family Two adults & any dependent children $550.00
Single Parent Family One adult & any dependent children $400.00
Pensioner / Student Pension / student card copy must to be attached $150.00
Associate/ Person ConvertingIntended for people undergoing conversion. Non-voting at AGM.
Friend of Newtown SynagogueIntended for people who want to support Newtown Synagogue.
Non-voting at AGM.
Visiting Student Single semester. Non-voting at AGM.
Life Membership  $5000


Note: The fee comprises $1 for membership, the remainder for religious services. All new memberships require approval of The Board of the Newtown Synagogue.

Donations and Payments

We are in the midst of Jewish Renaissance in the Inner West of Sydney.

We have a dedicated group who are committed to a complete revival of Jewish presence and activity.

Be a part of the spirit of revival at the Centre for Jewish Life in the Inner West.

Donations/payments can be made by either of the following methods.

  • EFT – Use your online banking and make a transfer to
    Account Name: Newtown Synagogue INC, BSB: 032036, Account No: 960034
  • Credit Card –***************** Credit card coming soon.*****************

Note: please email administrator@newtown.shul.org.au with the transaction details.

Newtown Synagogue is only possible because of your kind generosity and we thank you for your generous donation.