Since the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay in 1788, Jewish people have made important contributions within Australian public life as leaders, politicians, soldiers, activists, philanthropists, in business and in the arts.
This area of the collection provides an insight into what makes Australia’s community distinct from other Jewish communities around the world and how being Australian has influenced the lives of Jewish people since colonisation.
The objects, artworks and documents included explore the following questions; What is uniquely Australian about our Jewish way of life and our community? How do Jews feel about being Australian? How does being an Australian Jew manifest itself in our lives, our work, our art or writings?
This collection theme also covers the historical background the Australian Jewish community, with a particular focus on Melbourne. Migration stories are encapsulated through letters, documents and objects, and the continuation of Jewish traditions in Australia is also exemplified, reflecting profound connections to religious and cultural practices as well as the Australian way of life.