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Philip Joseph Cohen (1803–1864)

Philip Cohen, n.d.

Philip Cohen, n.d.

from Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, vol 3, part 1, 1949, p 7

We record with feelings of regret, the death of Philip Joseph Cohen, Esq., which melancholy event took place at deceased's residence, 97, Forbes street, Woolloomooloo, on Sunday evening last, shortly after seven o'clock. Mr. Cohen was sixty-two years of age, and during his lengthened sojourn in this colony, occupied a prominent position not only amongst the members of his particular persuasion, but in the general community. He had been ill for several weeks past, but almost up to the time of his death hopes were entertained of his recovery, and his decease, although not entirely unexpected, will be an occasion of sorrow to the many to whom he was personally known, as well as by a large circle of friends by whom his character was highly appreciated. His recovery was perhaps impeded by over zeal in the conduct of the business in which he was engaged, for even up to Thursday last he would persist, contrary to the advice of his medical attendants, in proceeding to his office. Mr. Cohen, prior to his leaving England for this colony, was entrusted with some important commercial missions in connection with the great banking firm of Rothschild. Arriving in Sydney in 1828, he carried on business in George-street, where Messrs. Chisholm's establishment now stands, under the name of Cohen and Spyer. Here it was that Mr. Cohen formed the nucleus of the first Jewish congregation in Sydney. Being an excellent Hebrew scholar, he read service, and under the authority of the Chief Rabbi, the late Rev. Solomon Herschell, Mr. Cohen celebrated the first Hebrew marriage at the antipodes. Subsequently he obtained premises in Bridge-street for the service of prayer, eventually leading to the erection of the Synagogue in York-street. After some years he dissolved partnership with Mr. Spyer and proceeded to Maitland, where be become postmaster, the duties of which office he performed to the utmost satisfaction of the public until the end of 1849. He then returned to Sydney, and after some time became connected with the Hunter River Steam Navigation Company. Upon the formation of the new company Mr. Cohen's services were gladly availed of by the directors, for the sole managership. Notwithstanding the large business transactions with which his mind had to be fully occupied, Mr. Cohen paid great attention to the duties of the Synagogue, having on several occasions delivered lectures there and in the vestry of the building. A few years ago, some difference having arisen between some of the members of the York street Synagogue in reference to the performance of certain services, a number of the worshippers, amongst whom one of the foremost was Mr. Cohen, seceded from that congregation, and formed themselves into another which, under the pastorate of the Rev. Solomon Phillips, opened a new Synagogue in Macquarie-street, to which the deceased was attached up to the period of his demise. On intelligence of the event reaching the shipping numerous flags were hoisted half-mast high. The funeral is fixed to take place this morning.

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Citation details

'Cohen, Philip Joseph (1803–1864)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Philip Cohen, n.d.

Philip Cohen, n.d.

from Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, vol 3, part 1, 1949, p 7

Life Summary [details]




13 November, 1864 (aged ~ 61)
Woolloomooloo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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