The Jewish Museum of Australia is custodian of over 20,000 objects and stories that tell the continuum of Jewish life and what it means to be Jewish in Australia.

Most of the objects have come from peoples’ own life experiences or those of their forbears.

Forms and Themes

  • Ritual Judaica contemporary and historical, domestic and synagogal objects that relate to festivals, life cycle events and daily life in different eras and parts of the world, including Australia.
  • Historical Judaica, in particular Australian Historical Judaica photographs, organisational and personal papers and records that document and explain Jewish religious, cultural and social movements,, communities, places, migration and settlement
  • Personal Holocaust history in the context of a larger personal history
  • Personal and Family History letters, photographs, illustrations, diaries, scrapbooks, clothing, domestic objects
  • Business and Occupational History business records, stationery, advertising, product samples and photographs where a business has been initiated and/or owned by Jewish people and had a broader social or business impact e.g. Flinders Lane
  • The Visual Arts collection includes historical and contemporary works by Jewish artists, artisans and works of on Jewish themes. Many types of material are represented: silver, gold, brass, pewter, textiles, basketry, works on paper, oils, wood, photographs,digital, multi-media.

Archives and Sub-collections

  • HMT Dunera and Internment collection
  • The Jews in Shanghai prior to and during World War II collection
  • Personal family archives documenting life in Europe and the migration and settlement processes
  • Kalman Katz Coin Collection
  • The Archives of Rabbi J L Gurewicz
  • Schmatte Business Collection – Jews in the garment trade
  • Photographs and records of Jewish life in regional Victoria in the 19th century
  • Charles Aisen Sculpture Collection

More Information

For more information about the Collection or to enquire about the Museum’s acquisition policies and processes please email

The collection also provides an important educational and research tool for academics and researchers. Access is open to anyone who has an interest in the subject matter and the collection acts as an important original, primary source of information about Jewish culture and history, particularly in the local context.

The Museum is working to digitise the collection so that it can be better shared locally, nationally and internationally through the web.