THE Jewish Museum of Australia (JMA), Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre and Sholem Aleichem College, supported by the Victorian government and Glen Eira City Council, this week shared plans for Melbourne’s new Jewish Arts Quarter (JAQ) which aims to preserve and present Jewish culture.
While talks have been in the works over the past few years, an artist’s impression of the planned JMA and Kadimah site on Elsternwick’s Selwyn Street has now been released. The building will include state-of-the-art exhibition and education spaces, a 300-seat auditorium and a public plaza.
The facility will be a central part of the larger cultural hub, which will include Sholem Aleichem College, the Jewish Holocaust Centre, Classic Cinemas and public spaces, shops and restaurants.
JMA president Barry Fradkin enthused, “[The JAQ] will enrich our community and visitors keen for a taste of Jewish life.
“The ability to rejoice in the widest range of arts and culture will encourage everyone that visits the quarter to appreciate and gain a better understanding of what we can offer – especially as we emerge from these challenging times.”
President of Kadimah Renata Singer added, “We are eager to enter a new chapter seeing our current centre make way for a dynamic new locale, welcoming our community and beyond to be immersed in a wonderful place for art, music, theatre, performance, learning and exhibitions.”
Reflecting on Sholem Aleichem College’s 80-year history in Elsternwick, principal Helen Greenberg said, “Our students, staff and wider community will see this hub enriching and broadening our educational outcomes.”
Meanwhile, City of Glen Eira Mayor Councillor Margaret Esakoff hailed the precinct as a “welcoming space for everyone to celebrate Jewish life, culture, food, arts and music … [to] build vital community connections and bring people of all cultures together.”
Member for Macnamara Josh Burns commended the collaborating organisations in providing “a central home for our community to gather and showcase our rich cultural life and our heritage to the broader community”.
Caulfield MP David Southwick said the JAQ “will provide a great way to showcase a Jewish cultural and educational experience and assist to combat antisemitism”.
The JAQ is anticipated to be completed within the next two to three years.