AUSTRALIA’S Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, paid a visit to the future home of the Jewish Arts Quarter (JAQ) earlier this month, and was shown plans for the exciting addition to the Elsternwick Cultural Precinct.
McCormack, along with Member for Higgins Katie Allen, met with the JAQ team who introduced them to the community’s iconic eight-storey, multi-use cultural centre, being built at Selwn Street.
The state of the art landmark is set to emerge as the new revitalised home for the Jewish Museum of Australia: Gandel Centre of Judaica and Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre & National Library.
The additional $3.5 million allocated to the JAQ in last year’s state budget brings the government’s contribution to $5 million for the project – aiding plans to extend support to the wider community by attracting local organisations to deliver cultural programs.
McCormack said the JAQ “will be a cultural hub in Melbourne and help to preserve the rich Jewish heritage in Elsternwick”, while Allen commented that the facility will “act as a great facilitator of Jewish history, which will further educate and highlight Australia’s greatly successful multicultural society”.
JAQ co-chair Ben Mand said the visit gave the JAQ “a huge lift in realising this wonderful community project”.
Fellow co-chair Barry Fradkin stated the project was of “great significance to our State of Victoria”, adding that it would “enable inclusive contribution to society through a myriad of experiences that will enrich livelihoods”.
The building is positioned to invigorate the already existing precinct with the Jewish Holocaust Centre, Sholem Aleichem College and Classic Cinemas cosy neighbours.
John Gandel, a long term supporter of the JAQ’s vision, said this is “a once in a lifetime opportunity that will contribute to bringing the future of Jewish and multicultural Melbourne to life and be celebrated by many generations to come”.