Sydney Jewish Museum CEO to step down

February 11, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Sydney Jewish Museum board has joined CEO Norman Seligman in announcing that after 19 years in the role, he will be stepping down in the second half of 2021.

Norman Seligman [2nd right] at the 25th anniversary of the SJM in 2017

Norman said: “It has been an immense privilege to lead this fantastic museum and its amazing people. The journey I have undertaken with a succession of dedicated and supportive presidents, board members, staff and volunteers to transform the Sydney Jewish Museum into a dynamic organisation, with an outstanding team of professionals running world-class programs, exhibitions and events, has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

I had an interesting and varied business career with a large American multinational prior to coming to Australia, including eight years on assignment in Paris, but nothing compared to the privilege of meeting and working with an amazing group of Holocaust survivors and all the loyal museum volunteers and staff.

Noorman Seligman

The exposure that I gained to the Sydney Jewish community and the wider community including politicians, academics and business leaders has also been priceless “.

I have also enjoyed a close working relationship with three Museum Presidents: John Roth, John Landerer and Prof Gus Lehrer”.

Some of the highlights for the SJM during Norman’s tenure include:

  • three very successful Capital Appeals
  • upgrade and expansion of the whole Museum starting with Judaism and Australian Jewish life in 2010, Education and Resource Centre in 2015, Holocaust narrative and exhibition in 2017 and The Holocaust and Human Rights in 2018
  • growth in annual student visitor numbers from 8,000 in 2002 to nearly 30,000 in 2019
  • consistent achievement of budgets and other KPI’s
  • formation of the SJM Foundation tasked to invest and grow the Museum’s endowment fund
  • complete rebuilding of the exhibition spaces

Prof Gus Lehrer, President of the Sydney Jewish Museum, said: “During Norman’s term of office, the museum has become widely seen as a world-class museum of the Holocaust and Human Rights. His ability to handle all the various aspects of the Museum, from financial to caring for Holocaust survivors, is quite remarkable.

The success of the Capital Appeals and donor Support, most recently the Pillars of the Museum initiative, is testament to the high esteem in which the museum is held within the community, which is due in no small measure to Norman’s stewardship.

While it will be difficult to find a successor for such a dedicated and accomplished professional and leader, the dynamic state in which Norman leaves the museum, together with its prestige in the community at large, as well as the substantial notice period he has given the SJM board, will make the task more manageable.

Norman’s knowledge and expertise will not be lost to the museum, as he will be taking on a new role to manage and grow the recently formed SJM Foundation. The Board looks forward to maintaining a close and mutually beneficial relationship with Norman.”

Norman Seligman will remain in a part-time position at the museum.  The process of appointing a new CEO for The Sydney Museum is underway.


One Response to “Sydney Jewish Museum CEO to step down”
  1. Robert Schneider says:

    Congratulations Norman on your amazing tenure as CEO of the.Sydney Jewish Museum. You can be immensely proud of the institution you have led for the last 19 years and your shoes will be hard to fill. Wishing you and the Museum every success for the future!

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