• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE5687

Frenkel, Anna

(1911 – 2001)
  • Born 3 July, 1911, Samara Russia
  • Died 18 August, 2001, Australia
  • Occupation Barrister, Lawyer


Anna Frenkel (nee Ginsbourg) was born in Samara, in the Pale of Settlement for Jews in Czarist Russia. Owing to political unrest following the Bolshevik Revolution, Frenkel and her parents resettled in Harbin in Manchuria. It was here that Frenkel attended high school and also met Jacob Nahum Frenkel, a graduate in civil engineering and the man she would later marry. She earned a law degree from the Law School established in Harbin by expatriate Russian academics before settling in Shanghai to work as a journalist. Among her publications during this time was Shanghai, City of Refuge; she also co-edited a Russian-Jewish publication: Our Life. After marrying Frenkel in 1938, in 1939 she gave birth to a son: Robert; following the war, she also had a daughter: Emily. Frenkel was admitted to the Bar of New South Wales on 7 February 1964. She was a member of the Research Committee of the Women Lawyers’ Association of New South Wales. At the Bar, she specialised in family law, an area in which she became an authority. In 1971, her book entitled Your Family and the Law was published. Frenkel was awarded a PhD by Macquarie University for a thesis on Soviet Jewish emigration to Australia. In 1987 she travelled to Shanghai to participate in a short film, “Escape to the Rising Sun”, on wartime residents of Shanghai; she was also featured in the book Women of Ku-ring-gai, published by the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society in 1999. Frenkel died at the age of 90 in 2001.

Published resources

  • Book
    • Jewish Wayfarers in Modern China: Tragedy and Splendour, Messmer, Mattias,, 2012
    • Soviet Jewish emigrants in Australia : problems of multidimensional integration, Frenkel, Anna, 1987
    • Marriage in Australia : a cultural view of law, Frenkel, Anna, 1979
    • Your family and the law, Frenkel, Anna, 1971
    • Women of Ku-ring-gai : a tribute, Malcher, Helen and Ku-ring-gai Historical Society, 1999
  • Magazine article
    • Jewish refugees in Shanghai,, Ginsbourg, Anna and Rudolph, Julius and China Weekly Review, 1941
  • Site Exhibition

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales (1952 - )