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