This thesis traces the story of Australian Jewish identity from the colonial period to the end of the 1920s. Anglo-Jews aligned themselves with ‘white Australia’, arguing that their Jewishness was merely a private trait. Moments of crisis in the 1890s and 1920s, prompted by the possible and actual migration of Eastern European Jews to Australia, threatened to destabilise the place Anglo-Jews had carved out in Australian society, and forced a renegotiation of what it meant to be Jewish in Australia. These moments demonstrate that despite being notionally accepted in Australia, the whiteness of Jews was never guaranteed. Drawing on newspapers and government records, this thesis argues that since their arrival in Australia, Jews have been ambivalently and ambiguously placed in relation to Australian constructions of whiteness. As a group notoriously hard to define, Jews are an important case study in an analysis of the discursive world of ‘white Australia’, presenting new questions that challenge existing binaries of ‘white’ and ‘coloured’.