Christopher Pyne to open resource centre at SJM

June 9, 2015 by Natalia Thomas
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Federal Minister for Education and Training Christopher Pyne will open the state of the art NAB Education and Resource Centre (ERC) at the Sydney Jewish Museum this week.

The education room

The education room

The centre was built in response to growing demand for the Museum’s education and training programs, which engage over 20,000 school children and 200 teachers from Independent and Government Schools each year.

Norman Seligman, CEO of the Sydney Jewish Museum said; “The technology, facilities and space offered by this new centre will usher the Museum into the future, ensuring that the lessons of history will continue to inform and inspire the next generation.  Considering the recent spate of racially motivated attacks in the local and international community, it’s clear that programs such as ours, which promote understanding and empathy, are of the utmost importance.”

The Museum has a close partnership with Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and, as a result, the launch will also see the Museum unveil a new education resource entitled “Voices – Reflections after the Shoah”. Until now, this application, developed by Yad Vashem, has only been available at Yad Vashem and Auschwitz. It allows visitors to see and hear world-renowned experts responding to ethical, theological and philosophical questions that arise from the Holocaust.

Christopher Pyne   Photo: Henry Benjamin

Christopher Pyne Photo: Henry Benjamin

Yotam Weiner, Education Manager at the Sydney Jewish Museum added; “This is an excellent educational tool, which will allow students, teachers and adult visitors to explore the complex questions related to Holocaust studies” “Questions such as; ‘Where was God during the Shoah?’ and ‘What happened to the concept of good and evil after the Holocaust?’ are addressed by religious leaders, historians and Holocaust Survivors and go a long way to providing answers.”

Flexibility and utility were paramount when designing the Education Centre. A series of moveable walls allows the space to be subdivided into three separate classrooms, each accommodating 40 students, or fold back to accommodate up to 300 students or visitors for public events or workshops.

The existing library collection, which comprises over 6,000 volumes, video tapes, journals and 2,500 Holocaust Testimonies given by Survivors in Australia, has been relocated here. The centre houses the Survivors Registry and contains resources which members of the public can use to determine the fate of both Holocaust victims and survivors.

The Museum is grateful to its major corporate sponsor, NAB, who together with the NSW Jewish War Memorial generously funded this significant project, thereby investing in the next generation of leaders.

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