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Growing Up Jewish in Australia

The decision to publish this book was partly inspired by a letter from Sigmund Freud, in which he stated: “There were other considerations (apart from anti-Semitism), which made the attractiveness of Judaism and Jews, irresistible – many obscure forces of emotions, all the more powerful the less they were to be defined in words.” Elsewhere Freud went on to say that although he was unable to define these ‘obscure inner forces’ he was sure that the day would come when they would be identified.

‘Growing Up Jewish’ attempts to delineate and explain at least some of these obscure inner forces. The book begins, in Sydney, Australia with the authors earliest experiences relevant to the development of Jewish identity. It then proceeds to trace this development from her experiences in 3 other countries while working for the United Nations in the field of population control. After retiring in Jerusalem, Israel, the author focuses on the consequences for Jewish identity of the re-establishment of a Jewish national homeland.

In conclusion, drawing on the experiences described in the book she proposes a theoretical explanation of this Jewishness which, defying all odds, has survived millennia of homelessness, centuries outside the ghetto walls, and now still persists even outside its own religion.

Growing Up Jewish in Australia is a great book for those wanting to explore what it’s like to be Jewish.

About The Author

Helen Wolfers

Born in Sydney, 1932

Melbourne University, (1952-56 and 1962- 65), BSC degrees psychology the psycho pathology

Worked in the field of population control for United Nations in Singapore (1966-68), London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine (1969-72), Columbia University, New York (1973-75).

Returned to Australia 1976.

Widowed in 1994

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