What’s On

Thursday 7 August


We are pleased to invite you to an evening with inspirational speaker – Roy Doliner. The Sistine Secrets and the Hidden Jewish Symbolism of Michelangelo.

Roy Doliner is the co-author of the international best seller “The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo’s Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican”. Like Dan Brown’s fictional “art detective” Robert Langdon, he is often called in to solve mysteries in the art world and was responsible for the discovery of a lost masterpiece of Michelangelo. His decoding of Michelangelo’s secret messages has been the subject of several television documentaries and has resulted in his being flown around the world to speak at the Knesset in Israel, the Presidential Palace of Italy, the Columbus Centre in Toronto, Yale University and many times inside the Sistine Chapel itself.  He is the recipient of rave reviews: “a dynamic speaker”, “entertaining and intriguing”, “brilliant”, “captivating” and so on.

Roy is bi-lingual and an expert on the Jewish History of Rome, The Kabbalistic secrets hidden in the Vatican, Western civilization, architectural history, theatre and film. Among the many people he has personally guided around Rome and the Vatican are the Treasurer General of the United States – General David Petraeus, the family of Vice President  Biden, the liberated Israeli soldier – Gilad Shalit and two Oscar winners:  Jeremy Irons and Neil Jordan, the star and director of the hit TV series “The Borgias.

Roy is the first religious Jew to be officially authorized to guide at the Vatican. When in Rome, Roy does what very few Romans do – he is a constant fixture both in the Vatican and the Jewish Museum.

Date: Thursday 7 August
Time: 7.30pm–9.30pm
Venue: Jewish Museum of Australia, 26 Alma Rd St Kilda
Cost: Members $20 / Non Members $25
For bookings:  www.trybooking.com/FHKC
Bookings are essential!  

Terracotta, c1497, 46cm x 58.3cm, Documented by Roy Doliner and other scholars as Michelangelo’s model for his “Pieta” statue in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Sunday 7 September, Sunday 14 September, Sunday 21 September

Letter, Land, Lore: The Art of Renewal – card making for Rosh Hashanah

Join us for a wonderful workshop session with Nikki Green. Nikki will demonstrate how to carve and print Hebrew letters combining patterns inspired by native plants and wildflowers. Participants will get the opportunity to carve their own lino-block tiles that will then be used to make prints. If time permits, participants can then hand-colour their personal collection of Jewish New Year cards. For a preview of Nikki’s work visit nikkigreen.com.au.

Cost: Members $50 per session / Non Members $60 per session
Dates: Sunday 7 September 10am – 1pm
Sunday 14 September 10am – 1pm
Sunday 21 September 10am -1pm
Bookings essential: Click here to book

Wednesday 27 August

The Shofar – Sounds from the Past; Sounds for the future

Rosh Hashanah is almost upon us, so please join us for a special event at the Museum to celebrate.  International guest speaker Michael Kagan will talk about The Shofar – Sounds from the past; Sounds for the future. This will be your opportunity to hear the great blasts and to allow the return (Teshuvah) to our true selves to begin. Paul Forgasz will chair the evening and will provide the historical context of the ancient practices.

The traditional Jewish understanding of time is cyclical – the Days of Awe (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) are key dates in the Jewish calendar. Synagogue practice and liturgy have evolved over the centuries and have fascinating origins. The Shofar – the ram’s horn – is an ancient instrument of sound that, in the Jewish tradition, is capable of creating morphogenetic resonances, which have the power to heal, correct, repair, elevate, and bring joy to the listener.

Michael Kagan is an innovator both in technology and in Jewish spirituality. He independently developed a synthesis of midrash, halacha, Kabbalah and Hasidism together with his understanding of psychology and mysticism that he calls Holistic Judaism. Michael Kagan was born in London in 1956 and has lived in Israel since 1977.  He has a PhD in chemistry, published over twenty academic papers including two in Nature magazine, holds ten patents and, besides all the above, he has been involved as an innovator in the Israeli start-up scene for over 25 years.

Paul Forgasz’ career has spanned both the secondary and tertiary sectors of education. For more than a decade he was the Headmaster of the secondary school campus of Mount Scopus College. Currently Paul lectures in Jewish history at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Education and he also teaches about Jewish education in the university’s Faculty of Education. He has also designed and taught many courses for the Jewish Museum’s short courses program where he continues to teach and where his classes are always filled to capacity.

Date: Wednesday 27 August
Time: 7.30pm
Cost: Members: $10 / Non Members $15
Venue: Jewish Museum of Australia, 26 Alma Rd St Kilda
Bookings essentialClick here to book

Europe, early 19th C. Rams horm with engravings Hebrew inscriptions read “Sound the Shofar on the new moon on the celebration of our festival. For it is a statue for Israel, and a judgement of the God of Jacob’. ‘Praise Him with loud sounding cymbals. Praise Him with cymbals of tumult’. PSALMS 150. On indefinite loan from the Geelong Hebrew Congregation. 

Sunday 24 August 10am-12pm

Letter, Land, Lore: Art Classes for children

Bring the children in for a fun and interactive morning. Children will get an opportunity to view the Letter, Land, Lore exhibition with Nikki Green who will give a brief introduction to her background, work and techniques, followed by a demonstration of the scribing of several letters and words. Participants will then be invited to choose a Hebrew letter/s to illuminate and embellish with details from a selection of Australian wildflowers. This will be a unique experience that reinforces and enhances connection to the special qualities of the Hebrew language. For a preview of Nikki’s work visit nikkigreen.com.au.

Ages: Children 8yrs – 14 yrs
Cost: Members $40 / Non-members $50 (includes materials)
Date: Sunday 24 August 10am – 12pm
Bookings essential: Click here to book  

Sunday 10 August, Sunday 17 August, Sunday 24 August

Letter, Land, Lore: Art and Meditation

Join us for an exploration of the parallels between Jewish mysticism and Indigenous Australia. Nikki Green will lead people though a brief meditation relating to the mystical contexts of the Hebrew Alphabet and the healing attributes of the native Australian wildflowers. Following this relaxing introduction, participants will select an appropriate hebrew letter or word to design and decorate – creating a unique, illuminated artwork. (No prior artistic experience necessary). For a preview of Nikki’s work visit nikkigreen.com.au.

Cost: Members $50 or $130 for 3 sessions (includes materials)
Non-members $60 or $150 for 3 sessions (includes materials)
Bookings essential: Click here to book

Sunday 10 August – 2pm – 5pm
Sunday 17 August – 2pm – 5pm
Sunday 24 August – 2pm – 5pm

Wednesday August 6, Wednesday August 13, Wednesday August 20

Letter, Land, Lore: Meditations

Join us for an innovative, experiential and creative journey. Participants will experience a one hour unique relaxation session. Nikki Green will facilitate a guided visualisation meditation relating to the Hebrew letters – looking into the concepts of listening – Sh’ma; truth – Emunah and renewal – Teshuvah. (No prior experience in meditation necessary). For a preview of Nikki’s work visit nikkigreen.com.au.

Cost: Members: $10 / Non Members $15
Booking essential: Click here to book

Sh’ma Meditation: Wednesday 6 August from 5.30pm-6.30pm
Emunah Meditation: Wednesday 13 August from 5.30pm-6.30pm
Teshuvah Meditation: Wednesday 20 August from 5.30pm-6.30pm

Sunday August 3 Exhibition Opening

Letter, Land, Lore – Opening August 3

Nikki Green is an Australian Jewish artist currently based in Denmark, Western Australia, one of the most bio-diverse hotspots on earth. In this exhibition, Nikki explores the parallels between Jewish mysticism and the Indigenous Australian connection to the land. Her work combines these two seemingly disparate cultures, revealing a relationship between text, nature and spirit and the ensuing organic patterns that emerge from their intimate connections.

Nikki will also be our Artist-in-Residence at the Museum and will be facilitating a number of exciting visual art workshops throughout August and September. Visitors are welcome to watch Nikki working on her art and chat with her informally about her practice. Be sure to visit the What’s On page for regular updates.

Please join us at the opening of Letter, Land, Lore. A visual exploration of the convergence of Jewish Mysticism and Indigenous culture. The exhibition will be officially opened by Victor Majzner at 3pm on Sunday August 3. Nikki will give an artist talk where she will share her inspirations and artistic techniques.

Date: Sunday August 3
Time: 3pm
The exhibition will run from August 3 – October 26.

Wednesday 30 July

Business Breakfast

We are excited to announce the name of our guest speaker at the upcoming Business Breakfast – the Honourable Linda Dessau AM will talk law, footy, the Arts….what works and what can change. Linda is a retired federal judge, a member of the Victorian Bar, and formerly a barrister, and Senior Crown Counsel in Hong Kong. She has a long-standing involvement in various boards and councils including school, hospital, opera and football organisations. She was appointed to the AFL Commission in 2008, is President of the Melbourne Festival, Chair of AFL Sportsready and Artsready, a Trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria, and a director of the Churchill Fellowship Trust and the Unicorn Foundation. In 2010, she was apppointed a Member of the Order of Australia. Now that’s an impressive mouthful!

When: Wednesday 30 July 2014
TIme: 7.15am to conclude at 9am
Venue: Jewish Museum of Australia – 26 Alma Road St Kilda
Bookings: Please click here to download form
RSVP: 22 July by return form to Efrat Goldberg.
Enquiries: Efrat Goldberg. Phone (03) 8534 3600 or click here to email.

27 July

Open House

The Museum is proud to be participating in Open House Melbourne. Open House is a city-wide event which offers the general public the opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes access to a range of venues in Melbourne. The Museum will offer regular tours of the curatorial area, the St Kilda Synagogue, Museum library of rare texts, as well as free access to all the exhibition spaces.

Tours Information: Every 60 minutes, with 8 people per tour. No booking required. Self guided tours also available. On the day, you can sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour of the curatorial areas, with our Collections and Exhibitions Manager, Peta Cook (30 mins long, running every hour on the half hour, starting at 10.30am).

So come along and mingle in the buzz and hype of Open House. We hope to see you there. Open House Melbourne is free so all you need to do is turn up!

When: 27 July
Cost: Free
No booking required.  

Thursday July 24

The Icon Project: Using artefacts to teach about WW1. Or how to make a Pop-Up Museum.

The annual History Teachers Association of Victoria (HTAV) is coming up and the presenter is Dr Deborah Rechter, curator of the Museum’s Calling Australia Home exhibition. The Icon Project: Using artefacts to teach about WW1. Or how to make a Pop-Up Museum is the subject this year. Deborah is currently preparing an exhibition on WW1 for the Museum.

Handling primary sources, artefacts, relics and icons helps students develop empathy and historical thinking. Deborah will demonstrate how easy it is to create a Pop-Up Museum exhibit in the classroom and will offer teachers interactive and engaging ways to encourage student learning about WW1. The timely session will connect with Victorian ANZAC Centenary commemorations and give teachers practical ideas for use in the classroom.

Target audience: General WW1/Teachers of Year 9 students learning about WW1 (Direct link to Year 9 National Curriculum – WW1/Historical Skills/Historical questions and research/Analysis and use of sources)

Red Cross certificate presented to Lucie Hallenstein. c. 1919. Jewish Museum of Australia Collection, 8327

Wednesday 23 July 11am - 1pm

AIDS 2014 Australian Cultural Program

Melbourne is hosting the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) 20 – 25 July at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Approximately 14,000 delegates from all over the world are expected to attend this conference. To support the affiliate Cultural Program and City of Melbourne, the Museum will host a free event for delegates and guide visitors through the Museum’s permanent exhibitions – Calling Australia Home, Timeline of Jewish History, The Jewish Year and Belief and Ritual and include a tour of St Kilda Synagogue located behind the Museum. Morning tea will also be provided. Click here for more information about the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014).

Cost: Free to delegated and partners.
Bookings essential: Click here to book.

Until July 2014 Museum Opening Hours

Arts & Craft Sessions Kids Program

In Season

The Museum’s current exhibition, In Season has been designed specifically for children and families, displaying rarely seen items from the permanent collection to tantalise and engage all of the senses!

In Season is jam-packed with plenty for kids to do, including dress-ups, arts and crafts, plus regular activities and workshops.

Cost: Free with admission, no bookings required.

Age: Suitable for pre-school and primary school age kids.


Until July 2014 Museum Opening Hours

Gallery Workstation

Voices & Visions

The latest exhibition from the Museum, Voices & Visions, presents posters designed by prominent Jewish American graphic designers including Bob Gill and Dan Reisinger, who have interpreted the ideas of Jewish luminaries from Susan Sontag to Hillel. Drawing on concepts of environmental health, communal belonging, identity and positive existence, the exhibition encourages us to consider which ideas remain relevant and poignant in contemporary times.

Visitors are invited to respond to the exhibition by making their own posters in the gallery workstation or by participating in an online facebook discussion of these great ideas!

Cost: Free entry with Museum admission.


Age: Suitable for all ages.