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Exhibitions

CULTURE AND CONTINUITY: JOURNEY THROUGH JUDAISM

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Sydney Jewish MuseumIn November 2008 the Sydney Jewish Museum opened its new permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity: Journey through Judaism.

The exhibition explores Jewish history from its “Biblical origin in the Ancient Near East” to the thriving Jewish community here in Australia. While tracing the significant events that have determined Jewish experience, it offers insight into Judaism’s central beliefs, its sacred texts and way of life. It shows the creative responses by which Jewish culture has continued to adapt to changing circumstances, maintaining contemporary relevance while retaining its traditional essence.

The central feature of the exhibition is a ‘walk through’ timeline of Jewish history. The timeline is surrounded by thematic displays that allow the visitor to discover the intricacies of Jewish belief, texts and traditions. This focus on Judaism as a living tradition culminates in an exploration of Jewish life in Australia, from the arrival of sixteen Jewish convicts aboard the First Fleet, through the various waves of migration to the present. Working closely with the Australian Jewish Historical Society and Australian Jewish history consultant, Associate Professor Suzanne Rutland, the exhibition team has striven to develop a display that illustrates the diversity and dynamism of Australia’s Jewish community in the 21st century and its contribution to the broader Australian community.

Culture and Continuity is artifact based, featuring objects which illustrate the rich tapestry of Jewish civilization through the ages, with an emphasis on the Australian Jewish experience. We are very grateful to the many individuals, families and institutions who have donated or provided long term loan of artifacts for our new permanent exhibition. Interactive displays provide further insight into Judaism as a living tradition and the memorable characters that brought these traditions to Australian shores.

The Sydney Jewish Museum is grateful to all who have donated their time and efforts to bring this project to fruition. In particular, we pay tribute to the memory of Mrs. Ernestine Freiheiter (born Poland 1914, died Sydney 2005) whose generous bequest in honour of her husband the late Joseph Freiheiter, made this refurbishment of the ground floor possible.

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