The family goes back to Natan Porges (Prague 1470) : family tree
Dr. Phil. Bernard Porges married Caroline Hirsch from Prague
(b. 21/12/1848 Prossnitz (Moravia, then part
of the Austrian Hungarian Empire), d. 01/09/1924 Würzburg
married Rosalie (Rosa) Friedmann
(b.10/09/1854, d. Berlin 19/01/1911), daughter of rabbi Dr. Bernard
Friedmann and Auguste
They had 9 children.
Gisella (b. Karlsbad 13/05/1884, d. ?) married (Mr) Edelstein.
They lived in Budapest and had two daughters Mischi and Lily
Benno Porges (b. Leipzig ?, d. WWI)
Porges (b. Leipzig? ,d. WWI) grave 886 in
Isegheim near Langemark, Belgium
Leonie Porges (b. Karlsbad 18/01/1888 married Friz Meth (Dresden).
Erich, Max, Rudi moved to Australia in 1937
Porges (b. Pilsen 22/06/1880, d. 20/12/1917).
He requested a
special Saxonia passport (Staatsangehärigkeits
be able to join the Army in 1902.
Porges (b. Pilsen 10/07/1881; d. WWI)
boy (b. & d. 05/07/1882)
Porges (b. 10/06/1883, d. Karlsbad 13/06/1886)
Joseph Porges (b. Mannheim 14/05/1879, d. Sydney 1956)
29/12/1900 Jessie Kennedy, daughter of Donald Kennedy
and Alice Aardmann.
became "friendly" with a non-Jewish girl and was banned
from the family home ;
then went to South Africa and was not allowed to return to Leipzig,
then went to Hannover
finally decided to move to Australia ca 1899, where he settled.
Ronald Porges (pharmacist) married Edith Geelan (born cork,
Stuart Barrington Porges (Surgeon in Orange, NSW Australia)
Married Jann(ne Hunt), physician in Orange, NSW Australia)
Geoffrey Porges (Philadelphia USA) lives in U.K.
Director of Therapeutics Research, Senior Biotecnology Analyst, Leering Partners LLC
Senior analyst, global Biotechnology, AllianceBernstein
Porges (New York USA)
Director at Katasi, Inc. Sydney
Executive chairman at DirectMoney pty Sydney
Dr Kathryn Porges (Sydney Australia)
|Stuart Porges with wife Jann, daughter Kate and son Stephen
outside Government house at his presentation of OAM
by the Governor (2012)
Keith Porges (Pharmacist) (b. 08/09/1928, d. 05/02/1971)
Bruce Porges (b. 03/04/1962)
Tracy McCorkill 01/1987.
: Mark Porges (b. 1991)
Susan Porges (b. 11/10/1964) married Scott Simmons
in South Maroota (Australia)(2006)
: Brianna (b. 01/07/1992) & Riley (b. 04/04/1997)
Herbert Friedman Porges (d. 1975) married Edith Angelo
Dr William Leith Porges (b. 4/1/1939 Sydney)
Dean, Veterinary Faculty, University of Sydney,
of St. Andrew’s College within the
University of Sydney.
Married Reingard Ruthe.
Reingard Porges is librarian at the University of Sydney
Porges (b. 16/08/75)
Pamela Porges married Richard Colgan
Sandra Porges married William Cameron
Alice Porges married Walter Pirie
Rita Porges (deceased at about 20 years of age)
Sources : Dr. Reingard Porges (1995,2007),
Chloe Porges (2001), Stuart Porges (2001)
Rabbi Prof. Nathan Porges
b. 21/12/1848 Prossnitz (Moravia),
d. 01/09/1924 Würzburg (Ger
Rabbi and bibliographer. Raised
at the Olmütz Gymnasium.
University (Ph.D. 1869) and Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau
He served as rabbi in Nakel (1875), Mannheim (1879), Pilsen (1880),
Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary)(1882) then Leipzig from 1888 to 1917, in
the interim (1913) being appointed professor in the university of
He had a profound knowledge of early hebrew printed works
and of bibliography, and owned a remarkable collection of incunabula
and of other rare books, which were dispersed and sold through book
In religious matters, he was a moderate liberal.
articles appeared in the Revue des Études Juives,
in the Zeitschrift für hebraïsche Bibliographie,
and in the Zentralblatt für das Bibliothekwesen.
He was an expert on Hebrew and philological literature.
to a number of essays on "Dunash ibn Labrat" and "Judah
Hayyui", he wrote Bibelkunde und Babelfunde (1903) and
Josef Bechor Schor.
(The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia)
Porgès a surtout fait
progresser l'exégèse, la science des commentaires
de l'Écriture Sainte et l'étude apparentée
des langues sémitiques, qu'il a élargie et approfondie
par des dissertations savantes.
Ceci est appuyé par de nombreuses publications dans les revues
spécialisées et par des prêches.
Parmi eux les
écrits étendus : " Über die Verbalstammbildung
in den semitischen Sprachen" (Sur la formation des racines verbales
dans les langues sémitiques) (Vienna 1875) in
" Geschichte der Juden im ehemaligen Fürstbistum Bamberg (L'histoire
des Juifs dans l'ancien archevêché de Bamberg)
und Babelfunde" (Connaissances de la Bible et découvertes
de Babel) Leipzig 1903
Joseph Bechor Schor, un exégète
du nord de la France
Die Lehre von der Wissensfreiheit u.a. (L'enseignement
de la liberté des connaissances).
Il a acquis une renommée
particulière pour avoir publié l'inachevé "Sifra"
de M. Friedmann.
Dr. Reingard Porges, 2007 :
The History of Jewish life in Leipzig
is interesting, rich and well documented.
Prof. Nathan Porges contributed greatly to Jewish history of Leipzig.
Jews are mentioned in Leipzig, a city in eastern Germany, at the
end of the 12th Century.
A regular trade fair in Leipzig guaranteed
protection to all merchants and Jewish money lending activities
attracted Jewish traders into the city.
When the major day of trading
was moved from Saturday to Friday even more Jews travelled regularly
to Leipzig from all over Europe.
Leipzig’s growth as a trading
centre, particular the fur trade, was due to Jewish activities.
A permanent Jewish settlement was founded in 1710 and the number
of privileged Jews allowed residence in the city Leipzig grew steadily.
A synagogue was built and consecrated in 1855.
The influx of Eastern
European Jews, mostly orthodox Jews, split the community.
community was officiated by Rabbis N.A.Nobel (1902-05) and Ephraim
Reform Rabbis were A.M.Goldschmidt (1858-88),
Nathan Porges (1888-1917) and Felix Goldmann (1917- 1933).
1933 and 1945 Jews were persecuted and expelled and the synagogues
After the war the Jewish community in Leipzig gradually
Under the DDR Communist regime Jewish history and
the Holocaust was largely ignored and only in the 1990s was possible
to research and trace the history of the Jews in Leipzig.
The following is only a short summary
of investigations into Nathan Porges so far.
Many questions remain
unanswered and must be pursued further.
This must involve further
journeys to Leipzig, where the ‘Jüdische
Woche’ is held every two years.
It is during this special
week that progress can be made, as scholars specializing in Jewish
history are present and archives and the ‘Jüdische Gemeinde’ are
prepared to assist visitors.
I benefited greatly from attending
the ‘Jüdische Woche’ in Leipzig in 2007, celebrating
the 160th anniversary of the foundation of the Leipzig Isrealite
I look forward to rekindle contacts in Leipzig
in July 2009, the next ’Jüdische Woche’ in Leipzig
The Porges family originated in Prague,
where the family owned textile factories and had settled since
the early 1800s.
Jews were forced to live outside the city gates.
Two brothers, Moses and Leopold Porges, demonstrated great industrial
This came to the attention of Kaiser Ferdinand
V., who was particularly interested in the steam engine introduced
by the two Porges brothers.
Kaiser Ferdinand was so impressed,
he allowed the Porges family to live in the city of Prague and
in 1841 conferred upon
the brothers hereditary nobility.
In an effort to assimilate into
the Prague society the two brothers and their families moved into
the city of Prague and changed their name from plain Porges to
Porges von Portheim, akin to the Jewish family Wertheim, a highly
successful banking family in Vienna.
The different members of the
Porges family spread over middle and eastern Europe.
Nathan Porges, son of Dr. Bernard Porges and Caroline Hirsch was
born in Prossnitz (Moravia), then part of the Austrian Hungarian
Empire, on 21. Dec. 1848.
He was educated in his native town,
at the gymnasium at Olmütz.
Between 1865-1874 he studied at the Jüdisch Theologische
Seminar in Breslau and graduated with a PhD at the University
In 1872, Nathan Porges was honoured with the Joseph Lehmann Prize
at the Jüdisch Theologische Seminar in Breslau for
his publication : ’Übersicht und Charakteristik der Jüdischen
Exegese in Deutschland und Frankreich im Mittelalter.’
see M.Braun. Geschichte des Jüdisch Theologischen Seminars
in Breslau. Breslau, Schatzky, 1904)
Nathan Porges married Rosalie
Friedmann, born 10.Sept. 1854, daughter of Rabbi Dr. Bernhard
Friedmann and Auguste Kastan
Nathan Porges was Rabbi at Nakel a.d. Netze from 1875-1879, Rabbi
in Mannheim from 1879-1880, Rabbi in Pilsen from 1880-1882 and
Rabbi in Karlsbad from 1882-1888.
In 1888, Nathan Porges was appointed Rabbi to the congregation
He was chosen from 27 applicants.
6 were selected and
had to give test sermons and on April 29, 1888 the council decided
to appoint Nathan Porges to the position of Rabbi and director
of the Religious School in Leipzig (Verwaltungsbericht Israelitische
Religionsgemeinde Leipzig1888 p.4).
The celebration of his first
and introductory sermon was held on August 3,1888.
into the Religious School was held on the 19. August 1888.
The city archive in Leipzig found a document that requested Saxonian
citizenship for Nathan Porges and his family on
June 20,1890 (Naturalisations
This document states : Nathan and his family
were citizens of Austria, as Prosnitz, Nathan’s birthplace
belonged to Austria.
This archival document stated that Nathan
Porges owned property in Karlsbad plus 12 000 Gulden.
In 1902, Nathan Porges was received by King Georg of Saxonia in
a special service (Verwaltungsbericht Israelitische Religionsgemeinde
Leipzig 1901-1902 p. 4) to recognize his services to the community.
During 1908/09, Nathan Porges visited the Palestinian schools with
the Secretary General of the Alliance Israelite.
(Source : Verwaltungsbericht
Israelitische Religionsgemeinde Leipzig 1908: p.4).
was given leave from mid October 1908 to Feb. 1909 to fulfil his
honourable duty given to him by the Alliance Israelite Universelle
In 1911, Nathan Porges life was devastated
with the death of his wife Rosa at the age of 56.
had a high profile in Leipzig, being involved in numerous charity
organization and fighting for women’s rights.
She was a member of the Women’s
Council and her interest in the welfare for women and girls.
She was also Chairperson of the Council of the Jewish Kindergarten
Rosa Porges died Jan 19, 1911 in the Jewish Hospital
in Berlin after an operation
(eulogy see : Verwaltungsbericht
Israelitische Religionsgemeinde Leipzig 1911)
On the Aug 1, 1913, Nathan Porges completed 25 Years as Rabbi in
Leipzig (Verwaltungsbericht Israelitische Religionsgemeinde Leipzig
On this day, Nathan Porges was not in Leipzig, however on
the Oct. 17, 1913, Nathan Porges was mentioned for delivering a
rousing sermon on the commemoration of the Battle of Leipzig.
Battle of the Nations (or Battle of Leipzig 16 – 19 Oct.
1813 was one of the most decisive defeats suffered by Napoleon
in the Napoleonic Wars.)
In 1913, the King of Saxony granted the title of Professor to Nathan
Porges as recognition for his scholarship and teaching and he was
appointed professor at the University of Leipzig.
He had a profound knowledge of early Hebrew printed works and of
bibliography, and owned a remarkable collection of incunabula and
of other rare books, which, after his death were dispersed and
sold through book dealers.
In religious matters, he was a moderate
His research articles appeared in the Revue des Études
Juives, in the Zeitschrift für hebraïsche Bibliographie,
and in the Zentralblatt für das Bibliothekwesen.
He was an expert on Hebrew and philological literature.
to a number of essays on "Dunash ibn Labrat" and "Judah
Hayyui", he wrote Bibelkunde und Babelfunde and Josef
Bechor Schor. (see Bibliography)
Nathan Porges was a liberal thinker and the split in the congregation
between the orthodox and the liberals during his time as Rabbi
in Leipzig presented many challenges.
During 1914, Rabbi Porges submitted a request to retire.
he withdrew the request, realizing the difficulty to replace him
due to the war (Verwaltungsbericht Israelitische Religionsgemeinde
Leipzig 1914 p.5).
However, in 1917, Nathan Porges did retire from
his position as Rabbi on Sept. 1,1917.
He was succeeded by
two Liberal Rabbis, Dr. Felix Goldmann and Dr. Reinhold Lewin.
The Leipziger Tageblatt nr. 443 Saturday 1.Sept. 1917 p.8 announced
Nathan Porges’ Farewell Sermon at 8.30 am.
Nathan Porges moved to Würzburg in his retirement and there
died Sept. 1,1924.
Nathan and Rosa’s grave is to be found in the Old Jewish
Cemetery in Leipzig, on the corner of Berliner and Leipziger Strasse,
Row 1, Grave no. 2 .
For the most part of their life in Leipzig, Nathan Porges and his
family lived in the Waldstrassenviertel in Leipzig, first in Lessing
Str. 3 and later in Auenstr. 4 ( now Hinrichsen Str.).
Nathan and Rosa Porges had 9 children (see the family tree, above)
born 14, Mai 1879 in Mannheim died in Sydney 1956
18.Oct. 1894 arrival in Capetown, South Africa.
in Middleburg and worked as Handlungslehring ( Trade Apprentice)
1895. Nathan Porges seeks the Entlassungsgesuch aus der
Staatsangehöroigkeit (discharge from German citizenship) for
Joseph (WLA III Stadt Archiv Leipzig)
1899 arrival in Australia
1900 Marriage 29. Dec. 1900 to Jessie Kennedy, daughter of Donald
Kennedy and Alice Aardmann
born 22 June 1880 in Pilsen; died 20.12.1917. The Leipzig City Archive documented
that son Ludwig requested a special Saxonia passport (Staatsangehärigkeits
Ausweis) to be able to join the Army in 1902.
born 10 July 1881 Pilsen; died in WWI.
4. A Boy
born and died 5.July 1882
born 10. June 1883, died 13. June 1886 in Karlsbad
born 13 May 1884 in Karlsbad; married Mr. Edelstein, lived in Budapest
and had two children Mischi and Lily
born 18 Jan 1888 Karlsbad married Fritz Meth from Dresden
children Eric, Max and Rudi came to Australia in 1937)
remembers visiting Nathan Porges with his mother and 2 brothers
in a very fine home for elder people in Würzburg shortly before
he died in 1924.
Nathan and Rosa’s 4 boys (Ludwig, Heinrich,
Benno and Fritz) died in WWI.
Only one son, Joseph, survived and
he was the one who apparently was rejected by his father.
Meth wrote (Letter. Eric
Meth to William Porges 25.March 1975 ) : ‘Why
Uncle Joesph had so to suffer we do not know; our mother Leonie
never spoke about this.’
born in Leipzig ?, died during WWI.
born in Leipzig? , died during WWI grave 886 in Isegheim near Langemark
Dr Porges has been associated with the College since 1975, initially
as a Non Resident Tutor, and then as a Fellow (Non Resident) of
St Andrew's College.
In January 1994 he became Vice Principal, a Wilson Fellow and
a resident of the College, Acting Principal in 1996 and Principal
In the University of Sydney, Dr Porges was on the academic staff
of the Faculty of Veterinary Science for 30 years 1969 - 1999.
After graduating in Agriculture (1960) he travelled and worked
overseas for two years before returning to manage a farming and
grazing property in Australia. Upon completion of the BVSc degree
(University of Sydney) he worked in a private veterinary practice
and subsequently joined the University teaching staff in September
In more recent years Dr Porges has
been active in the Australian Veterinary Association and has
served as President of NSW Division. He has been on several committees
within the AVA including those dealing with Ethics, Graduate
Support or "Mentor" schemes,
Education, NSW Council of Professions. This work has been recognised
with an AVA award for Service to the Profession.
Within the University of Sydney Dr Porges is on several University
Committees and has ongoing responsibilities in the Faculty of Veterinary
Science since appointment (1/3/99) to the Principalship of St Andrew's
College. He is currently serving a further term as Chairman of
the University of Sydney Chapter of Heads of Australian University
Colleges and Halls, Inc.
Since 2000, Dr Porges has been appointed as the Alternate Lay Member
of a Legal Aid Review Committee of the Legal Aid Commission of
Since December 2001, Dr Porges has been a member of interviewing
panels to select students applying for entry into the Faculty of
Medicine, University of New South Wales, and for entry into the
Graduate Medical Program, University of Sydney.
The Principal is ex-officio a member of all Council Committees,
is Chairman of the Administrative and Academic Committees and attends
Foundation Board of Management meetings.