Tassels and Tefillin

Opened: 29 January 2017
Closed: 27 August 2017

Held in partnership with the Multicultural Museums Victoria network, and coinciding with the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Tassels and Tefillin explores the meaning and symbolism of ritualistic costumes, worn by Jewish people from around the world, and throughout history.

This selection of costumes from our collection shows how cultural prestige, historical traditions and a heightened level of sanctity can be found in Jewish dress. Wearing these items of clothing adds significance to Jewish rituals, and elevates the process of performing religious practices and ceremonies, signifying a preparedness for the prestigious occasion.

The design, colours and threads that make up these garments are a reminder of the places Jews have lived, the history they have endured, and the beliefs that have underpinned Jewish life for millennia. Recognising subtle references from the past ensures the continuation of these meaningful rituals, which are passed down from generation to generation.