In this video introduction to the Jewish Online Museum you will meet the Founder of the JoM and Chair of the Jewish Online Museum Trust, David J Ross and its first Curator, Keren Cook. Together they will take you on a short tour behind the scenes of the museum, and provide some snapshot insights into the JoM's creation as New Zealand's first Jewish museum.
The New Zealand Jewish Online Museum (JoM) is the first ethnographic museum in the world, and the first Jewish museum to be entirely digital and accessible only through the internet. The idea to create a new museum that could represent the great creativity, enterprise and heritage of the Jewish peoples of New Zealand came early in 2010, when David J Ross decided to initiate the project as an online cultural and educational resource for New Zealand, and Australasia and beyond. The JoM is our answer to the New Zealand Jewish community's location, so far distant from most of the rest of world Jewry, its key historical locations, its major communities and events.
The JoM will attempt to lend a uniquely Australasian and Pacific emphasis to the project of collecting and preserving, interpreting and publishing the narratives, objects and images that tell the stories of Jewish lives and heritage in New Zealand. A virtual venue for the museum was our most practical option for providing a locally based, globally informed cultural and educational resource to preserve the great range of historical and contemporary material available to us, and to represent the diversity of contemporary Jewish life here in Australasia in a way that could reach everyone.
Primarily envisioned as an innovative virtual and interactive web-based educational resource, the Jewish Online Museum hopes to extend public access to the sometimes fragile, ephemeral or as-yet unrecorded histories and experiences of Jewish peoples here in New Zealand. The virtual museum is intended to inform, preserve, display and publish those documents, articles, exhibitions and artefacts that best represent the Jewish peoples, culture and contribution in New Zealand since early settlement until contemporary times. The JoM is also keen to increase public understanding of, and access to learning about, the key individuals, organisations, cultural centres and congregations that have helped to shape this Southern-most Jewish community in the world. The JoM has been designed to function as both a portal to those numerous institutions, centres and organisations that each collect, record and chronicle Jewish lives and contributions in this country (and overseas) and to operate as a cultural and educational destination in and of itself.
The JoM is a not-for-profit cultural resource that will grow and change with each new month that passes, with new exhibitions, articles, biographies and artefacts being recorded, commissioned and uploaded all the time. We hope you enjoy your visit to the JoM and encourage you to let us know about your experience and offer us your thoughts, comments, support or donations by contacting us, using the Send Feedback tab or going to our Contributions page.