A society that embraces and respects cultural diversity and difference, in which Jews feel proud of, connected to and knowledgeable about their heritage and can confidently express their identities in a contemporary Australian context, and in which Jewish culture is understood and appreciated by the wider community.

Mission Statement

To engage people with Jewish culture.

Strategic Goals

  1. To have a significant and accessible collection of objects and stories that represents the breadth of Jewish culture and Australian Jewish life.
  2. To have creative and stimulating exhibitions and programs that are relevant to our diverse audiences and educate and engage them intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
  3. To be a thriving, dynamic, welcoming and accessible cultural destination.
  4. To have significantly increased audiences and greater awareness of, associations with and loyalty to the Museum.
  5. To have long-term financial security and ongoing, resilient relationships with our donors and funding partners.
  6. To have a safe and sustainable organisation that demonstrates best practice in all of its operations and governance.

Board Members

Barry Fradkin OAM President
Zelda Rosenbaum OAM
Adam Krongold
Ben Margow
Carmella Prideaux
Ken Klooger
Gideon Kline
Frank Tisher OAM


The Jewish Museum of Australia was established in 1977 by a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers, led by the visionary Rabbi Ronald Lubofsky (1928-2000). During the Museum’s first years of existence, the Committee, organised exhibitions at the Myer gallery and the Tramways Board building, started to acquire objects for the Museum’s collection, and searched for premises for the museum.

In 1982, under the patronage of Sir Zelman Cowen (1919-2011), the Museum opened its own temporary premises in the disused classrooms of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, South Yarra. Over the next 13 years at that location, the Jewish Museum of Australia presented over forty wide-ranging exhibitions, several of which travelled nationally. The Museum attracted significant communal support and won several prestigious industry awards.

In 1992 the Jewish Museum of Australia purchased a building in Alma Road, St Kilda opposite one of Melbourne’s most beautiful synagogues, the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation. On 20 August 1995, the then Governor General, Bill Hayden, officially opened the Jewish Museum of Australia, Gandel Centre of Judaica, named in honour of the Museum’s lead benefactors, John and Pauline Gandel.

The Museum recognises and pays tribute to the following individuals who were involved with the founding of the Museum and who were instrumental in securing its future in the early years following its establishment:

Rabbi Ronald Lubofsky AM

Sir Zelman Cowen AK, GCMG, GCVO, QC

John Gandel AO and Pauline Gandel 

Dr Helen Light AM

Zelda Rosenbaum OAM 

Christine Abrahams
Dorothy Abrahams
Helen Alter
Martha Ash
Jan Bayer
Maryla Bayer
Joseph Brown AO, OBE
Eric Cohen OAM
Trevor Cohen – Founding Chair and Honorary Solicitor
Douglas Davis
June Davis
Gabrielle Eisen
Ernest Fooks
Lionel Gross
Naomi Landa Gross – Co-Chair, inaugural Committee of Management
David Hampel – Founding Secretary and Secretary, inaugural Committee of Management
June Helmer
Freda Kaufman
Atida Levine
Sam Lipski OAM
Shirley Lubofsky
Doreen Nayman
Diana Opat
Miriam Opat
Fred Redlich – Treasurer, inaugural Committee of Management
Zelda Rosenbaum OAM – Co-Chair, inaugural Committee of Management
Anita Sackville – Founding Treasurer
Sue Silberberg
Leonard Yaffe
Percy Zerman

Corporate Documents

Click here to download the Annual Year in Review 2013
Click here to download the Year in Review 2012
Click here to download the Annual Report 2011
Click here to download the Strategic Plan 2012–14