The Jewish Museum of Australia is a community museum, which aims
to explore and share the Jewish experience in Australia and benefit
Australia's diverse society. The Jewish Museum of Australia is
committed to being a respected and innovative cultural centre,
recognised nationally for its excellence in exhibitions, education
programs and collection management. The Jewish Museum of Australia
was established in 1982 and for thirteen years was located in the
synagogue of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, South Yarra. In
that time, the Jewish Museum presented over forty wide-ranging
exhibitions, several of which travelled nationally. The Museum
attracted significant communal support and won several prestigious
industry awards. In 1992 the Jewish Museum of Australia purchased a
building in Alma Road, St Kilda opposite one of Melbourne's most
beautiful synagogues, the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation, and close
to Temple Beth Israel.
On 20 August 1995 the Jewish Museum of Australia, Gandel Centre
of Judaica was officially opened by the then Governor General, Bill
The Jewish Museum of Australia’s Collection has been
acquired mostly through donations. The Museum is the custodian of
the community’s history, with a responsibility to preserve
and record through material heritage the Australian Jewish
experience. The Collection documents many aspects of Australian
Jewish life, beginning with the arrival of Jews with the First
Fleet, and representing in depth major episodes of migration and
settlement of the Jews in Australia, to the present.
The Collection includes over 12,000 catalogued items, as well as
‘to be catalogued’ items, some of which are large
personal and/or professional archives. Many of the larger personal
archives include pre-migration heritage. The Museum’s
Collection includes important holdings about the HMT Dunera and the
internment of enemy aliens in Australia in the 1940s.
Other significant holdings document the Shanghai Jewish
experience pre- and during WWII, emigration, immigration and
settlement processes for different waves of Jewish migration.
In 2008 the Museum acquired the Archives of Rabbi Joseph Lipman
Gurewicz. Rabbi Joseph Lipman Gurewicz (b. Vilna 1885) arrived in
Australia in 1932 and became the spiritual head of the United
Congregations of Carlton. Rabbi Gurewicz was a dynamic community
leader and an authority in matters of Jewish law.
The significance of this archive resides in its documentation of
the various social/communal and religious issues that onfronted the
emerging Eastern European immigrant Jewish community over the two
decades of 1930s-1950s – the war and the immediate post-war
years, and the community’s responses to those issues.
View the full record at
Collections Australia Network