Visit our archive

Newsletter of the Adelaide Jewish Museum – June 2004

Farewell to Roslyn

I was very sad to discover that the Sugarman family were leaving for Sydney. I lived a few houses away from them and was lucky to get to know them very well. One thing that was always a bit of a mystery to me was Roslyn’s job. I knew her job title was ‘curator of the Adelaide Jewish Museum’ and I had seen some of her lovely exhibitions at the AHC. It was also very apparent to me that she enjoyed her job very much, so I decided to find out more! As a result of what she told me, I applied for the job and I feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to continue with the work that Roslyn so lovingly started.

Even after Roslyn told me about the job, I had very little idea of the magnitude of what she did until I went into the Adelaide Jewish Museum website for the first time. The website is classy, professional and contains a wealth of very interesting information. You will be able to read Roslyn’s faithfully recorded and sensitively edited family histories. You will also find details of most of the exhibitions she has done including photographs of a lot of the objects and artworks. You may be pleasantly surprised to find examples of either your own or your children’s artwork captured as part of this community’s colourful history. I have no doubt that you will find a visit to Roslyn’s virtual museum fascinating and enriching.

Well done Roslyn, I think you have done a great job and I hope that I will do it justice!

The Vision of the Adelaide Jewish Museum

I had a look at Roslyn’s first newsletter in order to gain some inspiration for this one and I think it’s appropriate to start as she did with a curator’s statement of intent. The following paragraph is from Roslyn’s first newsletter and describes the aspirations of the museum committee in setting up the museum:

“Our vision is to create an institution where the heritage of this Jewish community can be documented, displayed and preserved for the present and future generations. Over the years to come, we hope to collect articles of Judaica, to research and interpret them, exhibit, and use the material as a means to learn and teach about our culture.”

This paragraph still beautifully describes our vision, and over the last three years, the museum has evolved into a virtual institution that serves the intention with which it was created.

Oral Histories for the Book of Life

The collection of oral histories for the book of life is ongoing and I am looking forward to meeting and speaking to anyone who would like to share their story. We have a wealth of interesting stories here from all over the world. Recording these stories will ensure that we remember not only the people, but also the times that the world has been through. These stories give us a valuable resource to pass on to all our children from which they can draw as they forge their own Jewish identities.

Even though you may not think your own stories are interesting now, don’t forget that your children will be living in a different time and your history will seem both foreign and fascinating to them. Please contact me if you would like to have your story recorded, I would love to help you add your story to those of Jewish Adelaide!

Exhibitions and Collection of objects for the Museum

After I heard that I had the role of curator of the museum, I decided we needed to have an exhibition in order to show everyone that the museum was still operational. I scouted for ideas and Viv Bolaffi came up with one for a general Shabbat exhibition. Viv and I had great fun setting up the exhibition and thank you to everyone who has temporarily parted with their precious objects.

I would like to continue to run this part of the museum as a community project and as such, any ideas you have for exhibitions will be taken seriously and any help that you can give in any area of putting the exhibitions together would also be welcome.

Two ideas that have come up recently are:

1. Commemorative clothing, e.g. Tallit for Bar Mitzvah, Kippot and Tallit for Bris, Kippot for Bar Mitzvah etc,etc.

2. Judaica from around the World, we have many communities represented in Adelaide and would like to set up an exhibition or exhibitions that display objects sourced from those countries.

Please contact me if you have any objects that I could use for either of these exhibitions or if you have any ideas or objects for other exhibitions.

Jewish Life in Adelaide

Now that the hard work of setting up the museum as been done thanks to Roslyn Sugarman and Allen Bolaffi, my role has been broadened to capture the life we have here in Adelaide.

I will be photographing as many functions and events as I can. The photographs will probably be housed on the Jewish Adelaide website so that anyone who is interested in finding out more about our life here can do so. In order to achieve this I need to know where and when functions are being held, so I would greatly appreciate being notified of any function or events you would like to include on our website.

Contact Me

• Write to

Adelaide Jewish Museum

P O Box 8070

Station Arcade

Adelaide SA 5000

• Telephone: 8431-7732

• Fax: 8110-0900

• Email: [email protected]

• Website:

My role as curator of the museum is only a supporting role to you, the community. So please contact me and chat to me about your life and your ideas for the museum. I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you all.

Yours Sincerely

Leanda Altman