Jody Somogy

“You can never stop studying Judaism – the history, the ethics, the politics – everything.”

I was born in Satoraljaulyej, on the Czechoslovak-Hungarian border, Hungarian side.
My mother, father and I arrived in Australia in 18 August 1960.

Remembering the past

The older you get the deeper you think about things and the more you go back. Every age has its own importance, the things that are important to you. I find that now I’m very retrospective about a lot of things. It’s almost like I can feel what my parents would have gone through. I felt that before too, but I think I’ve got more of an understanding of that now, and it’s very important.

I love reading about Judaism

I love the history, I love the literature. I’ve got books galore, in every room of my place. There is a lot to read on Judaism. I’m studying now and continue to study because it’s fascinating. You can never stop studying Judaism - the history, the ethics, the politics – everything.

Key Migration Wave - Hungarian Revolution

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 against the Soviets sparked the second wave of Jewish Hungarian migration. As a result of this conflict approximately 20,000 Hungarian Jews fled to Canada, USA, Australia, and Israel between 1956 and 1957. Of those who came to Australia, an estimated 70% of these immigrants settled in Sydney.

Listen to Jody's Eat, Pray, Naches stories

Full Transcript available here

A lot of Hungarian Jews left Hungary and went to Israel. Jody’s family followed this route, but after an illness, her mother missed her siblings who had gone to Australia - so that is the reason Jody is Australian.


Every Sunday, Jody’s father would take over the kitchen. He would let Jody and her mother stay in bed while he cooked up special breakfasts. Then he would call out “Breakfast!”


As a child Jody remembers her mother lighting candles in secret and her father singing ‘secret’ Yiddish songs, as they could not practice Jewish rituals in Hungary.


Doing volunteer work at Montefiore nursing home and getting the feedback on how much the residents like what she does, seeing how much they enjoy it, seeing them interacting, laughing or talking when she does things for them, to Jody, is the best feeling!