October 5, 2023
Many years before it held our Museum, our Darlinghurst building was home to the Maccabean Hall: a Jewish community centre, crucial to rehabilitating and integrating Holocaust survivor refugees in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Holocaust survivor, Jack Meister explores what the building means to him.
February 27, 2023
During the nineteenth century, most of Europe’s Jewish population migrated from small villages to large cities. This would create a major cultural shift, with Jews taking on the “modern” culture of the era. Our Education Officer, Dr Jonathan Kaplan is a dress historian. In this article, he tracks the shift in the clothing Jewish families wore as they transitioned from village life to city life.
February 1, 2023
To mark World Pride coming to Sydney, our Head Curator Roslyn Sugarman shares the story behind these “acceptance” rings in our collection – owned by the first couple in Australia to have a same-sex Jewish religious wedding: Oscar Shub and Ilan Buchman.
April 26, 2022
Last July, Wendy Sharpe took to the walls of the Museum to paint a large mural titled “Vu iz dos Gesele?” Sadly, due to Covid lockdowns, the mural would never be seen by Museum visitors, until now, with the release of a new documentary by Joshua and Karly Marks about the exhibition. Here’s what the filmmakers had to say.
April 13, 2022
Not much has been written about Jewish soldiers fighting in the Allied armies against Germany during World War II. One estimate puts the number at 1.5 million. Resident Historian, Emeritus Professor Dr Konrad Kwiet examines what happened to Jewish Allied soldiers during the Holocaust.
March 24, 2022
This Seder plate from our collection was given to Samuel Steif in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany in 1948. It depicts the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery – a meaning that would have taken on a deeper significance right after the Holocaust. It is engraved not with the traditional saying “Next year in Jerusalem”, but rather, “This year in Jerusalem”.
December 10, 2021
Jacob Bloch was a shoemaker from a shtetl in Lithuania, who immigrated to Sydney during the Great Depression. Barely able to speak English when he arrived, Jacob went from dance studio to dance studio, selling shoes. 90 years later, Bloch is an internationally-renowned dance and activewear label.
December 3, 2021
This new donation to our collection will keep our curators and a Yiddish translator busy for at least three years.
July 1, 2021
These silver Judaica items tell a story of a lost religious world. They survived the Holocaust and post-war communism, and were smuggled out from Hungary to Australia, one by one, in the 1980s.
March 11, 2021
Passover and modern day slavery Every Pesach or Passover, Jews throughout the world are commanded to tell the story of their emancipation from slavery in ancient Egypt. However, while retelling …
December 17, 2020
International Migrants Day: Waves of Jewish migration to Australia The waves of Jewish migration to Australia before and after World War II have been turning points in the history of …
July 10, 2020
Synagogues and memory When synagogues were forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Jewish communities felt distressed; not necessarily at the knowledge that they couldn’t attend, but …
May 19, 2020
This is a story about the wedding of Otto Ehrmann and Elfi Felixova in Theresienstadt in 1943, before the young couple was to learn of their fates.
April 22, 2020
For the Jews of Egypt in the mid-twentieth century, the Passover story was not just a mythical story. This was their story. As a Sephardi Jewish girl born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1939, this was also my story.
April 7, 2020
Wash your hands! Handwashing is front and centre of media messaging right now, so we would like to explore the Jewish religious fixation on the frequent ritual washing of one’s …
April 7, 2020
A Sephardi Seder Tradition The rituals of Pesach, or Passover, are observed and interpreted in different ways by different Jewish communities from across the world. In anticipation of the Sydney …
March 6, 2020
Celebrating one of the strong women in the Purim story On International Women’s Day, and on the eve of Purim, we look at one of the powerful women in the …
October 25, 2019
The beginnings of the Museum building Did you know that the building in which the Sydney Jewish Museum is housed has an interesting history of its own before it became …
October 8, 2019
The origins of the ‘scapegoat’ Did you know the history of the word ‘scapegoat’? It was first coined in the 16th century to describe the ritual animals that the Jewish …
June 6, 2019
The many meanings of the festival of Shavuot The festival of Shavuot begins at sundown this Saturday, 8 June, and ends at sundown on Monday 10 June. Whilst a short …
May 24, 2019
Music personalities: Q&A with Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ Curator This blog piece is the second of the series of conversations between our Curator of Collections Shannon Biederman and …
May 23, 2019
Music technologies: Q&A with Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ Curator Our Curator of Collections Shannon Biederman sat down with Assistant Curator at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, …
January 14, 2019
A milestone worth celebrating and collecting A boy’s bar mitzvah and a girl’s bat mitzvah are rites of passage by Jewish law, and milestones in every young Jewish person’s life. …
December 18, 2018
10th of Tevet Today, the 18th of December 2018, is the 10th of Tevet in the Hebrew calendar. This fast day commemorates the siege on Jerusalem by the Babylonian armies …
November 29, 2018
Chanukah Greetings Chanukah is a time when we remember the attempted suppression of Jewish culture and celebrate Jewish resistance and resilience. Chanukah of 1945 was the first time that Jewish refugees, …
April 24, 2018
Anzac Day – A day of remembrance Anzac Day is a day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, that honours those who served and died in wars and conflicts. …