Museum Diary

February 5, 2011 by J-Wire
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The current diary for Melbourne’s Jewish Museum…

To coincide with St. Kilda Festival, we are opening our doors to the public for free. Described by USA Today as one of the ’ten great places in the world to experience Jewish culture’, we are in the heart of St. Kilda and contribute to the suburbs heartbeat. Come and discover the world of Jewish culture, Jewish ritual, belief and the history of Australian Jewry this year.
Time: Sunday 13 February 2011
Date: 10 – 5pm
For more information on St. Kilda Festival and all the other exciting events happening during the Festival visit

Theresienstadt: Drawn from the Inside – final weeks
Works from the Jewish Museum of Australia Collection
Until Sunday 13 March 2011

Coming to a close, Theresienstadt: Drawn from the Inside will only be on for another five weeks. The exhibition offers a moving tribute to fine artists Paul Schwarz and Leo Lowit, Theresienstadt inmates who were ultimately murdered in Auschwitz.
Stowed away secretly in the wall cavity of Paul’s room, these delicate watercolours give a remarkable insight into the life and activity of the camp. Discovered by Paul’s wife Regina after the two men had been transported from Terezín, the sketches were carried out of the ghetto in an old and battered suitcase. First displayed in 1990, today the works and their creators remain unrepresented in any other museum around the world. The collection is therefore unique and timely, twenty years later, shared with the public once again.

Heather Ellyard’s Archive of Sighs opens in association with The 59th Blake Prize Touring Exhibition
Sunday 6 February until Tuesday 5 April 2011 
Exhibition Opening: 3 – 5 pm Sunday 13 February
The Jewish Museum of Australia is excited to present the 59th Blake Prize Touring Exhibition Finalist and accomplished mixed media artist Heather Ellyard’s Archive of Sighs. Ellyard’s work addresses spirituality in art, looking beyond religious difference and into our common longings, combining image and text in charged layers. One of Ellyard’s pieces is presented in an unfinished grid, specifically dealing with the Holocaust; by way of metaphor.
This is a return showcase for Ellyard who created the inscribed wall of the Museum’s exquisite Jewish History timeline in the Permanent Gallery. Born in Boston, Ellyard migrated to Australia in 1970. She has held 23 solo shows around Australia, and participated in more than 45 group shows.
Now touring nationally, The 59th Blake Prize Touring Exhibition will be exhibited in Kinross House and Toorak Uniting Church from 18 March – 21 April 2011. Due to the complexity of installation, Archive of Sighs can only be viewed at The Jewish Museum of Australia.
For more information on the Melbourne exhibition visit Kinross House website: or the Blake Prize website:

St. Kilda Walk – Sunday 6 February
In conjunction with the St Kilda Festival, come along on one of the Museum’s fantastic walks programs. After Carlton, St Kilda became the home of many Jews in Melbourne. Find out why Jewish families loved this beachside town and infused the area with a European sensibility. Join our knowledgeable guide, Terry Ashton, and visit ‘Linden’; St Kilda Town Hall; Christ’s Church Parish Hall; Luna Park; Palais Theatre and Acland Street with its wonderful cake shops.
Date: Sunday 6 February, 10.15am – 12.15pm
Price: $15 tickets
Venue: St Kilda Town Hall, under Portico 
Time: 10.15am for 10.30am start 
Bookings are essential 03 8534 3600
The Babel Project
Inspired by the famous biblical story of the unfinished Tower of Babel, the Jewish Museum of Australia and its partner organisations present a multicultural arts program and exhibition, The Babel Project. Photographic artist Georgia Metaxas worked with 36 participants from a rich variety of cultural backgrounds (from the four compass points of Melbourne) who were all invited to explore their commonalities through photography. The result is a powerful multimedia, soundscape installation that audiences can watch, listen to and experience. A beautiful comment about the similarities among people, The Babel Project tours venues across Melbourne and regional Victoria from March 2011.
Touring Dates:
The Substation
6 March – 10 April 2011
1 Market St  Newport  T 9391 1110
Hume Global Learning Centre
15 May – 26 June 2011
1093 Pascoe Vale Rd  Broadmeadows  T 9356 6999
Cardinia Cultural Centre
31 July – 11 Sept 2011
Lakeside Boulevard  Pakenham  T 1300 887 624
Jewish Museum of Australia
23 Oct 2011 – 15 Jan 2012
26 Alma Rd  St Kilda  T 8534 3623
For more information and to find out about Public and Educational Programs associated with the project, visit

Adult Education Summer Series Short Courses start Monday 14 February – Don’t miss out
Enrol now to secure a place in our Summer Series short courses, available to anyone interested in Jewish learning. It is a friendly, social and stimulating environment with no prerequisites.
Bring a friend and enjoy informal learning where you will be engaged and challenged by some of Melbourne’s high profile academics and writers.
Returning this semester due to popular demand is Paul Forgasz’s acclaimed course on Conflict and Coexistence – Jews and Christians. This heavily political and contentious course is delivered in an erudite, humorous and accessible manner.
A book club with a difference! Writer and teacher Yvonne Fein focuses on some of the Great 20th Century Jewish novelists in Not Sweet but Short: Great Jewish Short Stories of the 20th Century. Authors include Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Sholem Aleichem amongst others. Not to be missed.
Jewish Museum members receive a discounted rate.
Check the website for details and enrolment forms or call 85343625, email

Exciting things are in store for School Excursions this year.
Our experienced guides are working on new ways of engaging students with developments in our Permanent Exhibitions Program covering Australian Jewish History, Jewish Identity and Beliefs as well as Jewish Festivals and Ceremonies. This is always a favourite amongst students as they taste the food and partake in the rituals they are learning about, some for the first time.
In April our new major 2011 temporary exhibition opens, Mameloshn – How Yiddish Made a Home in Melbourne, exploring migration, language, ethnicity, religious difference and intergenerational conflicts. This wonderfully dynamic exhibition will contain interactive elements using ipads, multimedia installations and soundscapes which will no doubt pique the interest of the Y Generation in particular.  
More information

Mameloshn – How Yiddish Made a Home in Melbourne
Loti Smorgon Gallery: Exhibition opens Sunday 3 April
Curated by Anna Epstein in consultation with a dynamic Yiddish community committee including renowned Melbourne writer Arnold Zable, historian and academic Andrew Markus and Klezmer musician Freydi Mrocki, Mameloshn documents the journey of diverse Eastern European Jews who came to Melbourne, the end of the Earth, to recreate their lives. Bringing with them the complexities and richness, the controversy, the theatre, music and politics, they established themselves in Carlton and St. Kilda with a language, a culture and a cuisine to be woven into the fabric of what is now multicultural Melbourne. A story of migration and integration, Mameloshn is at once a universal and distinct social history tale.
Secrets of the Kosher Table
As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival the Jewish Museum of Australia presents, Secrets of the Kosher Table, showcasing traditional Jewish foods and customs, with a chance for the public to learn valued recipes and test all of the foods on display. A variety of dips will be made and shared, including Charoset, Chopped Liver – Vegetarian style, Egg and Onion Herring Salad, and Israeli Hummus with Tehini. There will also be a Shabbat Calla, and a Passover Matza prepared to explain the significance of food and communal eating in Jewish family life. Recipes will be available to take home and enjoy.
Date: 7 March 2011
Time: 5.30pm (45 mins)
Venue: City Square, Swanston Street, Melbourne

For more information on the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival:


Arafat in Therapy – Double Pass Giveaway
Written and performed by Jeremy Bracka
Human rights lawyer by day, actor by night, Jeremie Bracka’s hilarious one-man comedy, Arafat in Therapy (St Kilda Festival 2011) parodies the Middle-East peace process through farce, mockumentary and autobiographical monologue threaded together by the absurdist narrative of Yasser Arafat in therapy. It is an autobiographical journey through Jeremie’s experiences as an international human rights lawyer in Israel and at the U.N. Spanning several ethnicities; Arafat in Therapy is an edgy one-man satire on the Middle-east peace process. From U.N. resolutions to CNN, this show is a piss-take on politicians, peacemakers and human rights and uniquely showcases different Arab, Jewish, Palestinian and Israeli voices.

Dates: Wednesday 9 February – Sunday 13 February (excluding Friday 11 February)
Venue: Theatre Works, 14 Acland St, St Kilda   
Tickets: $30.00 
Times: Wednesday – Sunday 8pm
Bookings: or 9534 3388

The Jewish Museum of Australia is giving away two double passes to Arafat in Therapy for Thursday 10 February performance. Simply email your name to by Thursday 3 February, 2pm. Only ticket winners will be notified.

fortyfivedownstairs presents Cafe Scheherazade Early Bird Tickets
A fortyfivedownstairs production, directed by Bagryana Popov
Book online here or call 03 9662 9966
The legendary St Kilda cafe, Cafe Scheherazade, comes to life in a play by Therese Radic, based on the bestselling novel by Arnold Zable. The play tells a spellbinding series of tales of resourcefulness and courage, tales that have been replicated over many years and in many nations. The cast of six is joined by legendary klezmer musician Ernie Gruner and accordionist Justin Marshall to re-create the character of the café so many people remember so well. 

Dates: 8 March – 3 April* 
Time: Tue – Sat 8pm, Sunday 5pm
Tickets: Full $45, Conc $37.50,+10 Group $40
*No performance on Friday 11 March

Jewish Museum enews subscribers can purchase early bird tickets for Cafe Scheherazade – offer ends Friday 4 February. Early Bird Tickets: Full/ Senior $40, Concession $35.

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