THE Sydney Jewish Museum (SJM) will debut two new exhibitions when it reopens on July 1 after a three-month closure due to COVID-19.
“We are very excited to announce that the Sydney Jewish Museum will reopen,” CEO Norman Seligman said.
“We have followed government regulations and taken many precautions to ensure the safety of our visitors, including limiting visitor numbers in each area of the museum.”
The exhibition Jews from Islamic Lands tells the largely untold story of the Jews who lived in the Arab world, Iran and North Africa for centuries, developing rich cultural traditions influenced by their home countries before fleeing persecution or being expelled during the 20th century.
Many eventually found a new home in Australian where they encountered the new struggle of both navigating the wider community but also a Jewish community that did not understand them.
An accompanying exhibition, Nostalgic Glimpses of a Bygone Era, features paintings by Jewish artist Camille Fox, who was born in Alexandria, Egypt.
“It is my history as well, so I feel very moved that I’m part of it,” she told The AJN.
Fox’s paintings focus on her grandparents’ “golden age” era of the 1930s, when Jews enjoyed a comfortable and affluent lifestyle in Egypt. With her subjects smiling and looking elegant, she said “it tears your heart” to think what they’re going to go through.
“We look at this through the lens of today and we know what’s about to happen.”
The museum will initially be open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 10am-4pm. There will no guided tours for the time being.
For more information, visit sydneyjewishmuseum.com.au.