In 2017, the Jewish Museum of Australia – with support from the Islamic Museum of Australia – received a three-year grant from the Sidney Myer Fund to develop and deliver the grassroots program with students from Jewish and Islamic schools.
Running between July and November 2019, the first iteration of Museums Together saw 100 students from King David School and Sirius College get to know each other, train as guides at their respective museums, and act as hosts when their counterparts visited – cultivating a deeper understanding of their own culture while encountering another not as close to home. The pilot program closed at the Islamic Museum of Australia.
In 2021, Museums Together will see 200 students from King David School, Sirius College, Bialik College, East Preston Islamic College and Sholem Aleichem College cultivate a deeper understanding of both the Jewish and Islamic faiths, enabling them to connect with their own identities, approach cultural similarities and differences from a place of curiosity and empathy, and encourage continual cultural discussion.
Jewish students will visit the Islamic Museum of Australia, while Islamic students will visit the Jewish Museum of Australia, and each cohort will come together for a final workshop in the newly renovated spaces at State Library of Victoria. A robust, digital-only version of the program is also available in case of COVID-19 restrictions.
Jessica Bram, Director and CEO at the Jewish Museum of Australia: “We are thrilled to continue the important and impactful work of Museums Together. Developed and championed with our friends at the Islamic Museum of Australia, this program encapsulates the transformative power of museums to celebrate difference, reveal commonalities and build bridges through shared storytelling and inspired curiosity. We’re extraordinarily proud of the Museums Together project and especially the students and teachers who participate with open hearts and minds.”
Sherene Hassan, Director of Education and Community Engagement at Islamic Museum of Australia: “We received such positive feedback from the students in our first year of Museums Together, it is wonderful to be involved in this valuable project for the second time.”
Museums Together asks students to imagine the future they want to inhabit; one that is just, equitable, and free from oppression and intolerance – and helps give them the tools to build that future together.
To learn more about Museums Together, please get in touch here.