Culture and Continuity: Journey through Judaism is an exhibition that showcases the rich heritage of Jewish history, religion and culture alongside Australian Jewish history, and the history of the Sydney Jewish community in particular. From its beginnings in the Ancient Near East to its modern manifestations in twenty first century Australia, Jewish civilisation comprises a tapestry of religious and cultural traditions.
The exhibition addresses two broad questions: Who are the Jews? and Who are the Jews in Australia? The exhibition is composed of two main sections on Judaism and Australian Jewish History with a central timeline unifying the displays and demonstrating the breadth and depth of Jewish history.
Culture and Continuity illustrates the diversity of Jewish expression as well as its development over time. Its focus is the Sydney Jewish community, with images and objects from the local community taking precedence. Postcards printed in the early twentieth century and woodblock prints reminiscent of shtetl life complement modern Sydney photographs, highlighting points of continuity and change in Jewish life over time and space. Through the concepts of God, Torah and Israel, we reveal and convey the dynamics of Jewish life.
The exhibition contains a lively recreation of George Street in the 1840s showing the many Jewish businesses. Its host is Moses Joseph, who, in his convict rags-to-riches story, recounts what life was like in the colony and the challenges involved in setting up the community.