Family of Nathan Porges

The family goes back to Natan Porges (Prague 1470) : family tree

Dr. Phil. Bernard Porges married Caroline Hirsch from Prague

    Nathan Porges
(b. 21/12/1848 Prossnitz (Moravia, then part of the Austrian Hungarian Empire), d. 01/09/1924 Würzburg (Germany)), rabbi,
married Rosalie (Rosa) Friedmann (b.10/09/1854, d. Berlin 19/01/1911), daughter of rabbi Dr. Bernard Friedmann and Auguste Kastan.
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)

Fritz 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

 Ludwig Porges (b. Pilsen 22/06/1880, d. 20/12/1917).
He requested a special Saxonia passport (Staatsangehärigkeits Ausweis) to be able to join the Army in 1902.

Heinrich Porges (b. Pilsen 10/07/1881; d. WWI)

a boy (b. & d. 05/07/1882)

Gustav Porges (b. 10/06/1883, d. Karlsbad 13/06/1886)

Joseph Porges (b. Mannheim 14/05/1879, d. Sydney 1956)
          married 29/12/1900 Jessie Kennedy, daughter of Donald Kennedy and Alice Aardmann.
         He became "friendly" with a non-Jewish girl and was banned from the family home ;
         he then went to South Africa and was not allowed to return to Leipzig, then went to Hannover
         and finally decided to move to Australia ca 1899, where he settled.

Ronald Porges (pharmacist) married Edith Geelan (born cork, Ireland) (Sydney, Australia)

  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

Stephen 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)
          married Margaret Cawley

Bruce Porges (b. 03/04/1962)
          Married Tracy McCorkill 01/1987.
          Children : Mark Porges (b. 1991)
                           Chloe (b. 1988)

Susan Porges (b. 11/10/1964) married Scott Simmons
         lives in South Maroota (Australia)(2006)
         Children : 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)
         Associated Dean, Veterinary Faculty, University of Sydney,
         Principal of St. Andrew’s College within the University of Sydney.
         Married Reingard Ruthe.
         Dr. Reingard Porges is librarian at the University of Sydney Library.

Martin 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), Bruce & Chloe Porges (2001), Stuart Porges (2001)

Rabbi Prof. Nathan Porges 

b. 21/12/1848 Prossnitz (Moravia), d. 01/09/1924 Würzburg (Ger


See Bibliography

Rabbi and bibliographer. Raised at the Olmütz Gymnasium.
University (Ph.D. 1869) and Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau (Rabbi 1874)
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 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 were dispersed and sold through book dealers.
In religious matters, he was a moderate liberal.
His bibliographical 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.
In addition 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
A. Eckstein " Geschichte der Juden im ehemaligen Fürstbistum Bamberg (L'histoire des Juifs dans l'ancien archevêché de Bamberg)
"Bibelkunde 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.
Rabbi 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.
The Orthodox community was officiated by Rabbis N.A.Nobel (1902-05) and Ephraim Carlebach (1901-36).
Reform Rabbis were A.M.Goldschmidt (1858-88), Nathan Porges (1888-1917) and Felix Goldmann (1917- 1933).
Between 1933 and 1945 Jews were persecuted and expelled and the synagogues destroyed.
After the war the Jewish community in Leipzig gradually reorganised.
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 Religious Community.
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 entrepreneurship.
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 of Breslau.

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 in Leipzig.
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.
His introduction 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 Gesuch Sachsen).
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).
Rabbi Porges was given leave from mid October 1908 to Feb. 1909 to fulfil his honourable duty given to him by the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris.

In 1911, Nathan Porges life was devastated with the death of his wife Rosa at the age of 56.
Rosa Porges 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 in Leipzig.
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 1913).
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.
(The 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 liberal.
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.
In addition 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.
However 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) :

1. Joseph
born 14, Mai 1879 in Mannheim died in Sydney 1956
18.Oct. 1894 arrival in Capetown, South Africa.
He lived 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
2. Ludwig
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.
3. Heinrich
born 10 July 1881 Pilsen; died in WWI.
4. A Boy
born and died 5.July 1882
5. Gustav
born 10. June 1883, died 13. June 1886 in Karlsbad
6. Gisela
born 13 May 1884 in Karlsbad; married Mr. Edelstein, lived in Budapest and had two children Mischi and Lily
7. Leonie
born 18 Jan 1888 Karlsbad married Fritz Meth from Dresden
(their children Eric, Max and Rudi came to Australia in 1937)
Erich Meth 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.
Eric 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.’
8. Benno,
born in Leipzig ?, died during WWI.
9. Fritz
 born in Leipzig? , died during WWI grave 886 in Isegheim near Langemark in Belgium


William L. Porges

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 1999.

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 1969.

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 NSW.

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.