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Newsletter of the Adelaide Jewish Museum – May 2002

Virtual Museum

The Adelaide Jewish Museum could be described as a virtual museum because we exist as a website. We have a modest display space in the foyer of the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation to house changing exhibitions to celebrate Jewish holidays and display interesting objects and documents in family collections. One of the strongest motivations for continued displays is that there is no substitute for viewing the ‘real thing’ – virtual space cannot replace the object.

Plagues on Plates

Frogs by Dani Aizen

Locusts by Georgie Sugarman

To acknowledge Pesach, and to avert the necessity to borrow objects used by the community at this time, we commissioned 10 children from Massada College to paint ceramic plates on the theme of the Ten Plagues imposed by G-d on Egypt when Pharaoh refused to free the Jewish people.

The concept of painting on a plate, as opposed to paper or canvas, is linked to Passover’s key ritual of gathering together special food items with symbolic meaning on a seder plate. The children’s creative responses to the plagues can be viewed on the site, in the What’s On section under Pesach.

It is difficult to mount exhibitions without artifacts; unlike other museums, the Adelaide Jewish Museum does not have a permanent collection from which to draw. If you know of an item of Judaica that is no longer wanted, keep in mind that it may be of interest to the Museum.

Book of Life

The Book of Life is a forum on the website for the collection of stories about Adelaide Jewry and Jewish life. Accessing memory is complicated, and much has been written about how we communicate memories, and what and why we remember or forget. Memory is a storage bank of information linking the past and the present, and is not expected to be neutral. The ways in which we construct memories and lived experience and communicate these to a present day audience is various. We invite you to contribute to the Book of Life in any form, whether the process of documentation is by way of biographical data, or letters, photographs, diary entries, factual or fictional accounts or a combination of narrative techniques.

We hope to encourage more people to share their life and family history, and submit it for publication. This forum has the potential to create a meaningful focus for the community – there are more than 3000 hits to the site every month.