Jewish Museum of Australia
The Jewish Museum of Australia was established in 1977 by a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers, led by the visionary Rabbi Ronald Lubofsky AM (1928-2000). During the Museum’s first years of existence, the Committee, organised exhibitions at the Myer gallery and the Tramways Board building, started to acquire objects for the Museum’s collection, and searched for premises for the museum. In 1982, under the patronage of Sir Zelman Cowen (1919-2011), the Museum opened its own temporary premises in the disused classrooms of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, South Yarra. Over the next 13 years at that location, the Jewish Museum of Australia 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. On 20 August 1995, the then Governor General, Bill Hayden, officially opened the Jewish Museum of Australia, Gandel Centre of Judaica, named in honour of the Museum’s lead benefactors, John and Pauline Gandel.
Our collection is made up of over 20,000 items that have been donated and acquired since the late 1970s. Encompassing historical and contemporary Judaica, visual art, photography, textiles, personal and ceremonial objects, documents and books, our collection is driven by a desire to share and preserve the Jewish history and culture. Our collection primarily represents the unique social and cultural history of Australia’s Jewish communities, but it also includes items that signify the broader history and practices of Jewish people from across the world. Image use policy: All images, audio and audio-visual material within the collection are owned by the Jewish Museum of Australia. If you wish to adapt, publish or redistribute images from the collection, please submit the application form attached to the image use policy document.
Tuesday–Thursday 10am–4pm Friday 10am–3pm Sunday 10am–5pm
The Museum is closed all day (unless otherwise noted) for the following Jewish holy days and public holidays.
Mobility users are able to access the Museum via rear entrance (step free) if required. Please ring ahead to confirm. The Museum is located on the first level, accessible via lift and wheelchair accessible toilet facilities.