The Maccabean Hall: Jack Meister’s second home
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by Kira Friedman
5M ago
The Maccabean Hall: Memories of Jack Meister’s second home For Jack Meister and many of the Holocaust survivor refugees who made new lives in Sydney, the building where the Sydney Jewish Museum now stands is a very important space. Many years before it held our Museum, it was the Maccabean Hall: a Jewish community centre, crucial to rehabilitating and integrating Holocaust survivor refugees in the late 1940s and early 1950s.  Arriving without friends and families, Jack and many other survivors built their communities in “the Macc”, which saw many dances, family events, and meet-cutes. “We ..read more
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An Egyptian Rosh Hashana Seder
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by Kira Friedman
6M ago
An Egyptian Rosh Hashana Seder The festival of Rosh Hashana is both a joyous celebration and the start of a period of ten days during which observant Jewish people engage in profound introspection and pray to inscribe their names in the Book of Life for the coming year. Museum volunteer Racheline Barda recalls what the Jewish new year traditions were in her household in Egypt growing up: In Egypt where I grew up with my three siblings, I remember it to be my favourite festival. One week before Rosh Hashana, it was customary for us children to grow some wheat in a shallow plate lined with damp ..read more
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A year in the life of our Youth Committee 
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by Kira Friedman
6M ago
A year in the life of our Youth Committee The Sydney Jewish Museum Youth Committee is made up of a diverse group of young people from all across NSW, from various public and private high schools and universities. They’re united by shared passions for social justice, learning about history and Jewish culture, and contributing to the Museum’s work in fighting hate and discrimination in Australia.  Want to know what it’s like being part of our Youth Committee, a vibrant community of young people who are eager to make a difference? In this blog, members Kalanie, Aoife, Charlotte and Lauren ex ..read more
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Unpacking the past
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by Thomas Enriquez
11M ago
Unpacking the past: The unique experience of learning with objects  The late Holocaust survivor George Grojnowski often said: “I was born on 23 January, but I regard the day I came to Australia as my true birthday.” George’s sentiment is not a rare one among our community of Holocaust survivors. For many of them, stepping off a boat or plane into a new life in Australia – half a world away from the traumas of war-torn Europe – was one of the most significant moments of their lives. Among survivors’ migration experiences are stories of immense strength and resilience, of rebuilding lives s ..read more
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From the hospital to the Underground: the story of Gusta Snyde 
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by Kira Friedman
11M ago
From the hospital to the Underground: the story of Gusta Snyde Born in 1915 in Tarnopol, Gusta Snyde had dreams of becoming a surgeon, but anti-Jewish laws prevented her from studying medicine. Instead, she studied nursing at a private Jewish Hospital in Krakow. When Jews were forced into the Krakow Ghetto in 1941, she continued her work as a nurse at the ghetto hospital.   In 1943, Gusta was forced to march to Plaszow concentration camp, leaving her sick patients behind. At Plaszow, Gusta used her skills as a nurse to save as many lives as possible. She regularly treated inmates who had ..read more
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Why hate speech is never “just a joke”
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by Kira Friedman
1y ago
Hate speech is never “just a joke” By Dr Breann Fallon, Manager of Student Learning and Research  The racist slur slipped into the dinner conversation. It was said by a friend. At my own dinner table. I sat there in silence. One brave soul put down their glass and called it out. The friend chuckled. It was “just a joke” they said. *** I am not proud that I sat there. Perhaps I was in shock, maybe I was scared. Either way, I often think about how I failed at that moment. So when I awoke to the pejorative, contemptuous and discriminatory comments made by Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) I ..read more
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The unfinished baby books of Liesbeth Prins
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by Kira Friedman
1y ago
The unfinished baby books of Liesbeth Prins “My little cousin never had a sixth birthday.” – Carla Moore In 2005, Carla Moore-Kogel donated two diaries to the Museum’s collection, filled with photographs and anecdotes about her cousin Liesje – a little girl who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943 – just two months shy of her sixth birthday. The diaries were discovered in a drawer when the donor’s father, Max Kogel died in 1965.   Liesje (Liesbeth) Prins was born in Amsterdam on Christmas Day of 1937 to mother, Suze and father, Nico Prins. Shortly after, Suze began writing a diary in ..read more
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A reflection on NSW’s recent ban on Nazi symbols
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by Kira Friedman
1y ago
A reflection on NSW’s recent ban on Nazi symbols By Dr Breann Fallon, Manager of Student Learning and Research In the summer of 2016 I spent time in the archives of different concentration and extermination camps throughout Europe as part of my research for my PhD. During those months I was attempting to further understand the power of symbols in the propulsion of genocide. After all, symbols are imbued with meaning, influence and emotion.  I wanted to know if the symbols that perpetrators of the Holocaust were exposed to over many years via propaganda – like the Hakenkreuz (Nazi swastika ..read more
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Survivor Portraits – Dasia Black Gutman
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by Kira Friedman
1y ago
Survivor Portraits – Dasia Black Gutman This month we share the story of Holocaust survivor, Dasia Black Gutman. Born in Rzeszow, Poland on 8 February 1938, Dasia was just one and a half years old when the Nazi party invaded the Eastern part of the country. When she was just four years old, her parents, Chana and Szulem, were forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep their daughter safe: they left her with a Polish Catholic woman. On 30 November 1942, her father wrote: “I am compelled to hide my precious infant branch, my little daughter, may she live, until the storm passes. It is diffi ..read more
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NAIDOC Week: William Cooper’s legacy
Sydney Jewish Museum Blog
by SJM Test
1y ago
NAIDOC Week: William Cooper’s legacy The roots of NAIDOC Week can be traced back to the 1920s and 30s, when First Nations rights groups took formation and staged boycotts and marches on the Australian government. Instrumental in these actions was William Cooper, who led the 1938 Day of Mourning march, which demanded constitutional powers for Aboriginal people. William Cooper, circa 1937. Cooper holds a special position in the Sydney Jewish Museum for his incredible empathy for the plight of all persecuted peoples, including the Jews of Europe. In December 1938, at a time when Aboriginal peo ..read more
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