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JoM Mission and Purpose

  1_JoM Mission Statement (summary statement)

The Jewish Online Museum will bring together and make digitally accessible narratives, objects, and images of the Jewish experience relevant for a twenty-first century audience in New Zealand and beyond. It will preserve, document and provide access to existing cultural resources and create new resources that can educate, challenge, and inspire national and international audiences. It will stage innovative virtual exhibitions, document ephemera, record oral histories and—through viewer experiences of this content—enable virtual visitors to know more deeply the voices, records and stories that give expression to the diverse identities of Jewish peoples.


The Jewish Online Museum is a non-profit, web-based resource that seeks to extend public access to artefacts, images and narratives to best represent the cultural heritage, and significant intellectual, professional and economic contribution of Jewish peoples to New Zealand.

The Jewish diaspora in NZ is made-up of diverse peoples and cultures. In different ways, this ethnic and cultural diversity will be represented by the digital museum in order to facilitate a contemporary expression of the Jewish community’s common identity in social, spiritual and historical terms. The Jewish Online Museum recognises the need to interpret, reinvent and re- represent the complexity, and particularity, of Jewish heritage experiences in order to increase tolerance, awareness and understanding of our globally dispersed community of people and their cultural legacies.

The Jewish Online Museum is designed to reach new audiences through its digital interface and outreach programmes, and will continue as an interactive educational resource for future generations. The virtual museum seeks to provide an effective (open, accessible, growing) digital resource that, through new modes of exhibition and engagement, can link and animate a significant nation-wide collection of images, narratives and objects in relation to wider international contexts and resources.

3_ Core Principles

3.1_To preserve significant and previously inaccessible artefacts and heritage content pertaining to Jewish life in New Zealand in ways that responsibly and respectfully acknowledge the original contributions and copyrights of others, and to make this context freshly available

3.2_To create and sustain an open and accessible educational resource for a wide range of viewers, with a particular focus on youth in order to deepen insight, tolerance and understanding towards Jewish peoples

 3.3_To provide a place where New Zealand’s diverse population of Jewish peoples can explore a common heritage, and participate in a specifically South Pacific expression of cultural community

3.4_To work co-operatively with other institutions, individuals and organisations to preserve, display and make accessible key collections of material related to the activities and memories of Jewish life and experience in New Zealand and beyond

4_Key Objectives

4.1_The Jewish Online Museum intends to develop wider access to, and audiences for, existing resources such as Jewish archives, research centres and specialised associations by creating new opportunities for individual organisations and communities to contribute to the digital museum context.

4.2_The Jewish Online Museum intends to provide a contemporary, socially mobile, and culturally relevant representation of the Jewish community that can better serve the wider public’s understanding and appreciation of Jewish art, life, heritage and diaspora in New Zealand. It will develop a contemporary and engaging representation of such content in this southern-most community of Jewish peoples.

4.3_In particular, the Jewish Online Museum intends to explore the cultural and social specificities of being Jewish in New Zealand through a sustained programme of curated online exhibitions that addresses the key issues and challenges of being Jewish in a South Pacific context.  It is the intention of the museum to build a more positive awareness of the culture and contribution of Jewish peoples to contemporary life in New Zealand, and by doing so, create a culturally inclusive resource that has the capacity and scope to address the diversity of audiences and peoples that make up contemporary New Zealand.

4.4_The Jewish Online Museum intends to nourish Jewish culture in New Zealand and bring a global perspective to this nationally focused museum by linking our own exhibitions, resources and programmes to that of other similar institutions and organisations worldwide through the digital platform of the Internet. This new digital museum is designed and structured to act as both destination and portal: it is both a place for experience in itself, and a place to begin a journey elsewhere—whether as researcher, student, or casual visitor to the museum.

© Jewish Online Museum 2013

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