Eleanor Saul

“At last, we’ll come to Sydney. We’ll have a great social life. Look at all the Jewish names there.”

I was born in Singapore in 1940.
My mother, father, three sisters and I arrived in Australia on 8 October 1959

Coming to Australia

My aunt lived in Sydney. I think a year before we left Singapore, she brought the telephone directory of Sydney to us. My sisters and I were going through the pages and looking at all the names of the Jewish people living in Bondi and we were so excited because we thought, "At last, we'll come to Sydney. We'll have a great social life. Look at all the Jewish names there."

We didn't have that freedom of mixing with the local Jewish boys, although we went to Habonim and Oneg Shabbat … we just wanted a new social life, a new life in Sydney.

Sephardic cuisine – always pickles!

When I have my family over, I do a curry, a chicken curry and a beef curry, and the bamya dish, and the dish of fried noodles. Always roast potatoes or deep fried potatoes. That's a must. I didn't mention pickles? Pickles plays a big part in our diet. We love it.

Key Migration Wave - Sephardic Jewry

Sephardic Jewry, Middle Eastern Jews from Egypt, Iraq, as well as Jews who moved to India, Singapore, and other Asian countries, migrated to Australia after World War II. In the 1950’s several thousand Sephardic Jewry from the Arab world, especially Egypt, sought refuge in Australia as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Listen to Eleanor's Eat, Pray, Naches stories

Full Transcript available here

Eleanor talks of her days in Singapore living through the Japanese occupation and how her Sephardi background made her early years in Sydney not as comfortable as she had hoped.


Get excited as Eleanor talks about all the wonderful Sephardi dishes and how she loves to cook them for her family.


Listen to how attending the Sephardi Synagogue every week is very important to Eleanor.


Eleanor believes naches means “luck” and she tells us the many ways luck has played a part in her life.