Permanent Exhibitions


Calling Australia Home

Zelman Cowen Gallery of Australian Jewish History

Calling Australia Home is the new permanent exhibition in the Zelman Cowen Gallery of Australian Jewish History. This exhibit tells some of the stories of generations of Australian Jews – the reasons they came, the lives they built for themselves and what it means to be Jewish in Australia today.

The exhibition explores the diversity of the present day community via the individual expressions of Jewish identity, practice and engagement in Australia today; the challenges faced by Jewish migrants trying to settle into an established Jewish community and how these tensions shaped the development of the community over time. The exhibition also explores the adaptation of Jewish tradition and culture in response to Australian life and context and the many ways in which Jews have actively contributed to Australian society. Many of the stories featured illustrate the intersection between Jewish culture and Australian context and conditions and how these elements combined contributed to the shaping of the community today.

For a list of Calling Australia Home related programs please click here

L–R: Commercial traveller’s bag, early 20th century, donated by Mary-Lou Howie, Jewish Museum of Australia Collection 12643; Invitation, Conversazione in the Exhibition Building, Federation celebrations, 1901, donated by Trevor Cohen, Jewish Museum of Australia Collection 11541; Australia and the Jews: The Facts about Jewish Influence, the Facts about the Refugees, Len Fox, International Book Shop, Melbourne, 1943, Jewish Museum of Australia Collection 11678; Case belonging to Lieutenant Dalbert Isaac Hallenstein, 1914, Donated by his nephew Dalbert John Hallenstein, Jewish Museum of Australia Collection 12732.


Timeline of Jewish History

A remarkable journey through 4,000 years of tumultuous Jewish history. This graphic exhibition allows you to walk through a timeline of Jewish history, stepping through the key events etched in sand on the floor. On the walls, discover the significant events of Jewish history through a combination of unique objects, images, text, film and the fine artwork of Heather Ellyard.

The Jewish Year

Celebrates the annual cycle of festivals and holy days that give rhythm and form to Jewish life. The exhibit demonstrates the connection between the Jewish calendar and lunar and solar years, as well as festivals that are tied to the agricultural cycles of the Land of Israel.

Belief and Ritual

Examines the foundations of Judaism, the enduring religious beliefs and traditions that have bound Jews together through 4,000 years.

Kalman Katz Israeli Coin Collection

An extensive collection of Israeli coins, notes and medals from 1948 to 1998, plus a selection of ancient Jewish coins. This important collection may be viewed in the Library during Museum hours.