Miriam Guttman-Jones

“When it comes to our soul, our collective soul, we are a united body.”

I was born in Beit She'an, Israel in 1950.
My mother, father, sister and I arrived in Australia in 1955.

A Jewish soul

I think they (my parents) passed on a Jewish soul.  It's very hard to describe what a Jewish soul is. We as Jews, we feel a connection. We feel a connection to Israel but we feel a connection to our people. Although our community is so diverse...when it comes to our soul, our collective soul, we are a united body.

Proud of my community

I'm proud of my entire community to be honest. I think we have a wonderful community. I love being part of it. I love its diversity. I think Waverley is a wonderful local government area.

Key Migration Wave - Holocaust Survivor

Australia has been the refuge for more Holocaust survivors per capita than any other country, apart from Israel. The Close Relatives Reunion Scheme after World War II allowed Holocaust survivors to enter on the basis of having family that already resided within Australia. Today, there are a total of 27,000 Holocaust survivors in Australia.

Listen to Miriam's Eat, Pray, Naches stories

Full transcript available here

Miriam's parents were Holocaust survivors and further, survivors of the pogroms and communist takeover of Poland after the war.  They migrated to Israel where Miriam was born and from there came to Australia via a Displaced Person's Camp in Germany. Moving into a run-down flat in Bondi with no hot water, to Miriam's family it was "a palace".


Miriam remembers her mother's Jewish chicken soup which she taught her make and tells us that there is one magic ingredient in it and "that's love".


Miriam believes that when there is adversity the Jewish community stick together and when it comes to the soul of the Jewish people, they are a collective soul, a united body.


Miriam tells us naches is a Yiddish word that has significance to all Jews; that it is joy and pride. Miriam derives joy and pride from her family and children, from her work and from becoming a Councillor and Deputy Mayor at Waverley Council.