WAVERLEY Council has received the Multicultural Excellence Award from the NSW Public Libraries Association for its Jewish history exhibition, Eat Pray Naches: Jewish Community Stories.
The award is offered twice a year for public libraries that demonstrate excellence in the delivery of multicultural services.
Eat Pray Naches showcases the stories of over 100 postwar Jewish migrants and their families using the themes of food, faith and family. Twenty-six of the participants were featured in a physical exhibition that was held at Waverley Library in September.
The concept for Eat Pray Naches was initiated by councillors Miriam Guttman-Jones and Leon Goltsman.
Guttman-Jones told The AJN: “I just felt that it was [the] postwar migration that changed the face of Waverley, and I thought there was a real story to be told there and it should be documented as an extension of what happened in the Holocaust. This is the aftermath of the Holocaust.”
Goltsman said the award “was definitely well deserved”.
“[It] wasn’t just an award for the project, it’s an award for the people who were involved in it, the ones who put it together and the ones that have contributed,” he said.
Waverley mayor Sally Betts said: “Waverley Council [is] home to the second largest Jewish community in the country. It’s so important for us to document our history in an engaging way to ensure the stories live on into the future. The Eat, Pray, Naches project does just that and I’m so pleased we are being recognised for this important work.”
Simone Collins, project lead and cultural programs producer for Waverley Library, told The AJN: “I tried to create such an exciting, educational, heartwarming, heartfelt experience for everybody to enjoy from all ages in the community, and both Jewish and non-Jewish.
“It is just fantastic to see the recognition that it deserves, and I think everyone agrees that it really does hit the multicultural aspect of the local community and how it is more of an Australian migration story. Everyone can relate to it from all sorts of backgrounds.”
The Eat, Pray, Naches exhibition can still be viewed online, and will be travelling to other locations around Sydney, including the Montefiore Home in Randwick in mid-December, followed by Randwick, Strathfield and City of Sydney public libraries.
More info about Eat, Pray Naches: www.epn.org.au.