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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

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Moritz Gotthelf (1840–1926)

from Hebrew Standard of Australasia

The death on Friday morning last, of Mr. Moritz Gotthelf in his 86th year, at his residence, Elizabeth Bay House, Onslow avenue, Sydney, removes one who was not merely a figurehead, but a gratifying example of a consistent Jew whose religious principles, never suppressed, did not prevent him doing much valuable work both outside and inside the Jewish community for the welfare of the whole. Although attaining the patriarchal age, he retained his full mental and physical vigour to the last and followed the course of events in the press with keen interest.

He was born at Burgdorf, Hanover, in 1840, and when 20 years old came to Australia, where those sterling qualities which were his guiding principles put into application with perseverance and industry assured a successful future. He joined Isaac Jacobs and Company, a well-known firm of fancy goods merchants. Later he became associated with the late Mr. Feldheim, and together they established the firm of general merchants, Feldheim, Gotthelf & Co., which was well and favorably known for many years. A disastrous fire which started in a big printing establishment gutted the premises, and a number of others, and through this Martin Place was formed, doing away with the then narrow street. Then the firm erected its fine building at the corner of Barrack and Clarences streets.

Mr. Gotthelf's philanthropy was not limited by creed or party, and was characteristically carried right on till the last.

We have before us a printed list of the first subscribers to the Prince Alfred Hospital and the Rev. A. B. Davis's section has the name of Moritz Gotthelf. The Carrington Convalescent Home of which he was hon. treasurer, gained much by his association with its progress; the Prince Alfred Hospital, of which he was director; and the United Charities Fund likewise benefited. He was vice-chairman of the N.S.W. Patriotic Fund, and served on the executive council of the N.S.W. Public Disaster Fund. He was treasurer of the Sydney Chamber of Commerce for many years.

He assisted at the foundation cf many of our leading Jewish philanthropic and Educational activities; in fact, it is difficult to refrain from an historical account of Jewry in Sydney whilst making even a brief record of the late Mr. Gotthelf's activities. Notwithstanding the calls upon his time in the conduct of his big business interests, he always found a way to do much that was dictated by his religious ideals.

For his services to the community he was some years ago elected a life member of the Board of Management of the Great Synagogue.

It was during his regime as president of the Great Synagogue, an office he filled on many occasions, that the first attempt was made to ensure the interest of the young men of the community, by a scheme to encourage them to feel the pride of membership in it.

He paid especial attention to the work of the Sir Moses Montefiore Home and was most regular at all meetings of its executive.

We are loathe to pass over such an illuminating life with a brief sketch, although we are assured that the high esteem in which this pillar of Australian Jewry was held is in itself a monumental testimony to the fact that a good Jew gains the esteem of all people for his consistency and the exemplification of Jewish views.

Mrs. Gotthelf, who was a daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Moses Moss of Sydney, predeceased her husband about five years. Their four daughters are Mrs. H. Hallenstein, London; Mrs. G. Michaelis, Sydney; and Mrs. E. I. Halstead and Mrs. P. L. Halstead, both of New Zealand.

The funeral cortege left Elizabeth Bay House on Sunday at 2 p.m., by motor for Rookwood Cemetery, where the Rev. L. A. Falk performed the ceremony at the interment. The Rev P. Phillippstein, as the oldest official of the Great Synagogue added a short tribute. The Rev. M. Einfeld, Rev. A. D. Wolinski, and Rev. B. Lenzer (Newtown) were also present.

At the graveside there was an assemblage of over 250 persons. The principal mourners were Mr. George Michaelis (son-in-law), Mr Alan Michaelis and Mr. Rupert Michaelis (grandsons), Mr. F. D. Michaelis (Melbourne), Mr. L. M. Phillips and Mr A. E. Phillips (nephews).

Others present included Messrs E. L. Davis, S. S. Cohen (also representing Mr. George J. Cohen), Lewis G. Cohen, J. Goulston, S. B. Glass, H. I. Wolff (secretary, representing the Great Synagogue; the president, Mr. Orwell Phillips, being out of the, State), A. I. Ellitt president, S. Goodman and M. Schwartz (representing the Eastern Suburbs Central Synagogue); Phillip Cohen (president) and P. Wolfson (representing the Newtown Hebrew Congregation); Aaron Blashki, president of the Jewish Aid Society (representing the Trustees of the Jewish Cemetery); Louis M. Phillips, president, H. Lesnie, hon. sec, and I. Green assistant hon. sec. (representing the Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home and Sydney Hebrew Philanthropic and Orphan Society); M. Weinberg (representing the Hebrew Benevolent Society); M. A. Lieberman; A. M. Loewenthal (president N.S.W. Jewish War Memorial), H. Chodowski (Australian Jewish Chronicle); A. Rothfield (headmaster Sydney Jewish Education Board's Hebrew and Religion Classes); Sir , Allan Taylor, M.L.C.; Sir R. M. McAnderson; Mr. J. G. Farleigh, M.L.C.; Mr. D. Levy, M.L A.; Dr. Cecil Purser (chairman Royal Prince Allred Hospital, and vice-president and chairman of Carrington Convalescent Hospital); Mr. W. Epps (secretary Royal Prince Alfred Hospital); Mr D. Benjamin; Dr. A. Murray Oram; Dr. Cedric Cohen (also representing Judge Cohen); Mr. J. M. Dunlop (president of the Chamber of Commerce) ; Mr. E. R. Baruch, Mr. Harry Isaacs, Mr. A. H. Nathan (representing Hoffnungs Ltd.); Alroy M. Cohen; H. E. Hart; E. E. Sayer; A. Lind Leslie; C. D. Culliford; William Dixson (Dixson Trust Ltd.); W. M'cKeown Ltd.); Kenneth L. Purcell-Cohen; A. J. Rodgers, H. E. Browne, C. J. Morton, W G. Spooner and W. Brewster (representing McMurtrie and Co Ltd.) ; G. S. Keesing, D. L. Cohen, Reginald Marks, A. E. Goldstein, R. B. Asher; Mr. L. M. Phillips with Mr. W. J. Coogan (representing the United Charities Fund); Mr C. J. Hart, M. Snyder, Ernest L. Cohen, Aldeman E. S. Marks and A. McElhone (City Council), Messrs W. G. Layton (Town Clerk), Cullen Ward, Percy J. Marks, I. I. Moss, R. Stanton, Adolph Kaiser, S. D. Asher, Leo W. Cohen, Mark Owen, S .E. Marks, F. C. Sargood, W. Joyce, Lieut-Col. A. W. .Hyman, Dr. Sussman, Messrs H. C. Marks, Saul Symonds, Alfred Harris (Hebrew Standard), S. Balkind, Cohen, J. Collins, H. Gedalecki, I. Proosby, P. Myers, M. Lieberman, G. Kirkaldie (Feldheim Gotthelf & Co), J. Alexander, R. W. Solomon, Henry Isaacs, H. V. Marks, M. Rosenberg, A. Rosenberg, Morris Nathan, Abe Cohen, A. Himmelferb, Simeon Frankel (the aged former secretary of the Great Synagogue), The Chevra Kadisha was represented by Mr. L. Packer (president) N. E. Block, and A. S.. Block (secretaries), A. Nimenski, M. Milston, A. Don, S Young, S. Berkman, J. Aarons, J. Van. Praag, and J. Whitefield.

The following is the list of wreaths:

Daughters, grandchildren, staff at Elizabeth Bay House, Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Orwell Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Hart, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Keesing, Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. Alroy Cohen, Georgie arid Anthony Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Baruch, Miss Gwen Marks, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Royle, Lieut.-Col. and Mrs. Hyman, Miss Peggy Asher, Mrs. Jerrold Joseph, chairman and directors Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Jewish Girls' Guild, Jewish War Memorial, Hebrew Ladies' Maternity Society, Board of Management Montefiore Jewish Home, Committee of Carrington Hospital, Employees M. Moss & Co. Ltd., Employees M'cMurtrie & Co. (factory), Employees McMurtrie & Co. (Warehouse), Dr. and Mrs. A. A. Cohen, Miss Bessie Solomon, Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Asher and Miss Asher, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hallenstein, Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Marks, Mr. and Mrs. and Miss King, Mr. and Mrs. R. Stanton, Mrs. P. S. Asher and Mrs. Klippel, Dr. and Mrs. A. Murray Oram, Mrs. G. Nettheim and sons, the Misses Marks, Mr. Arthur Dibley, Messrs P. J., E. S., and Miss Marks, Mr. and Mrs. John Hart, Mrs. G. Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Marks, Mr. and Mrs. David L. Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest R. Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Solomon, Sir William and Lady Vicars, Sir Samuel and Lady Hordern, Sir James and Lady Fairfax, Edwards Dunlop & Co., Dr. and Mrs. Cecil Purser, Mr. and Mrs. Norman McGhie, Mr. William Dixson, Mrs. F. Ahrenson, Mr. Cullen Ward, Mr.and Mrs. A. H. Nathan, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Isaacs, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Isaacs (London), Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Sargood, Mr. Geoffrey Moss, Miss K. Moss, Miss R. Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis G. Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. A. Michaelis, Mr, and Mr. F. D. Michaelis, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest L. Davis, Mr. Charles Hart, Mr. and Mrs. R. Hallenstein, Mrs. Mitchell Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Moss, Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Moss, Mrs. and Miss Rich, Mr. and Mrs. E. Brendon, Mr. and Mrs. A. Markell, Mr. and Mrs. B. D. Rothbury, Mr.Leslie Barnett, Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Davis, Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Cohen, Board of Management of the Great Synagogue, Mrs. Charles Solomon, Miss Solomon, "Linden," Melbourne.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Moritz Gotthelf

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Gotthelf, Moritz (1840–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Burgdorf, Lower Saxony, Germany


9 July, 1926 (aged ~ 86)
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.

Religious Influence

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.

Key Organisations
Stately Homes