Sydney Jewish Museum

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Sydney Jewish Museum
1 Sydney Jewish Museum.jpg
Façade of the Sydney Jewish Museum
Sydney Jewish Museum is located in Sydney
Sydney Jewish Museum
Location within Sydney
Established 18 November 1992; 23 years ago (1992-11-18)
Location 148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates 33°52′45″S 151°13′12″E / 33.879075°S 151.220017°E / -33.879075; 151.220017Coordinates: 33°52′45″S 151°13′12″E / 33.879075°S 151.220017°E / -33.879075; 151.220017
Type Holocaust museum
Public transit access

The Sydney Jewish Museum is a museum in Sydney, Australia, which documents the Holocaust and the history of the Jewish people in Australia.[1] The museum is located at 148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, and is housed in the historic Maccabean Hall built to commemorate Jewish men and women from New South Wales who served in World War I.[2] This New South Wales Jewish War Memorial, formally opened by Sir John Monash on Armistice Day 1923, has long been a hub of Jewish life in Sydney and was judged an appropriate site for the Sydney Jewish Museum.[1][3]


The museum was officially opened by Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair AC, the Governor of New South Wales, on 18 November 1992.[1] Founded by the late John Saunders AO and members of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, the museum cost close to $6 million, paid for by its benefactor, Saunders, a Holocaust survivor of Auschwitz and Dornhau camps.[4] The museum records the contribution such survivors have made to their adopted country.[2] Australia has a higher proportion of Holocaust survivors (per capita) than any country except Israel.[5][6][7]


There are eight exhibition areas containing both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The exhibits deal with both Australian Jewry (Jewish migration to Australia from convict days to the present); and the Holocaust.[8] The permanent exhibitions include the following:[2]

  • Culture and Continuity: Journey through Judaism
  • Serving Australia: The Jewish involvement in Australian Military History
  • Hitler's Rise to Power
  • The Ghettos
  • Resistance
  • Transportation to the Camps
  • The Camps
  • Liberation and After
  • Reflection and Remembrance
  • Righteous Among the Nations
  • The Long Journey to Freedom
  • Stories of Survival


The museum provides a range of tours: free guided tours on selected days and priced group tours tailored to specific requirements. Tours are of two hours duration and include an introductory film and tour of the permanent exhibitions.[2] The museum operates as an institute dedicated to Holocaust education. It provides a range of programs for teachers and students of primary and secondary education linked to NSW Board of Studies Syllabus outcomes. Programs include personal testimony from Holocaust survivors and their descendants.[9][10]

Resource Centre and Library[edit]

The museum library was created from the entire collection of books donated by Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors.[11] Since then, the Resource Centre and Library has grown to over 6000 volumes, journals, audio and videotapes, including over 2,500 personal testimonies of Holocaust survivors in Australia.[2] The centre is open to the public during museum hours and staffed by a librarian. The collection provides material for the exhibitions and covers a wide range of themes including anti-Semitism, war crimes, holocaust in art and literature, and Australian Jewish history.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Sydney Jewish Museum : a museum of Australian Jewish history and the Holocaust ; a publication to mark the opening of the Museum on 18 November, 1992 by His Excellency Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair AC, Governor of New South Wales". Catalogue. State Library of NSW. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Sydney Jewish Museum". Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  3. ^ "Australian Jewish community and culture". Discover Collections. State Library of NSW. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  4. ^ "Catholic Weekly". The Holocaust: an anatomy. 2 December 1992. 
  5. ^ "Obituaries: John Saunders, AO". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 December 1997. 
  6. ^ Joffe, Charmaine; Brodaty, Henry; Luscombe, Georgina; Ehrlich, Frederick (February 2003). "The Sydney holocaust study: posttraumatic stress disorder and other psychosocial morbidity in an aged community sample". Journal of traumatic stress. 16 (1): 39-47. 
  7. ^ Paratz, Elizabeth D; Katz, Benny (21 February 2011). "Ageing holocaust survivors in Australia". The Medical Journal of Australia. 194 (4): 194. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Museum bares the Jewish soul". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 November 1992. 
  9. ^ Ari, Lander (December 2013). "Museums and the place of empathy?". Teaching History. 47 (4): 51–53. 
  10. ^ Bonardelli, Marie (December 2013). "Approaches to teaching the Holocaust: dealing with a sensitive and controversial topic". Teaching History. 47 (4): 54–56. 
  11. ^ Jacobs, Alan (August 1993). "From the Director's desk". The Sydney Jewish Museum newsletter (2): 2. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Sydney Jewish Museum : a museum of Australian Jewish history and the Holocaust ; a publication to mark the opening of the Museum on 18 November, 1992 by His Excellency Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair AC, Governor of New South Wales. The Museum. 1994. 
  • "The Sydney Jewish Museum newsletter". The Museum (1993-2015). 
  • "Yearbook Sydney Jewish Museum". The Museum (2010-2015). 

External links[edit]