Our History

YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW

NSTE started from humble beginnings in 1958, when the local Jewish community held Wednesday afternoon religion classes and Liberal Shabbat services in the Chatswood dispensary hall. Although a small congregation, our energy and enthusiasm were infectious. In 1960, we purchased the land on our present site at 28 Chatswood Avenue. In 1961, with 81 families in the rapidly-expanding congregation, we laid the foundation stone of our synagogue.

The 30th November 1980 was a seminal day in our history, as the community dedicated the current Sanctuary – our beautiful house of worship. Ever-inclusive and dedicated to Progressive ideals, NSTE became the first synagogue in Sydney to offer access to those with disability, including the hearing-impaired. Our passionate community continued to play a critical role in the growth of NSTE, even down to the lovely stained glass windows that grace our Sanctuary, designed by NSTE member, Dee Hart. The windows that face the foyer were designed by the late Lou Rose MBE, Honorary Life Member.

Today, we are a thriving congregation of 530 member families, and have a vibrant and accepting community that warmly embraces Jews of both matriarchal and patriarchal descent, as well as Jews by choice.  Our congregation and Rabbinic leaders also stand in solidarity with the Moetzah (Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, Asia, and New Zealand) 2011 resolution in support of marriage equality.  As such, we affirm the sacredness of loving, committed relationships between Jewish couples, regardless of gender, through the officiation of commitment ceremonies.