Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation launches COVID-19 research project

The Centre calls for community involvement as it announces plans to create an archive documenting Melbourne Jewish life during COVID-19. 

Monash Arts’ Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation has launched a new research project designed to capture the many different ways that Melbourne Jews adapted to life under quarantine. The Centre aims to collect a range of materials from individuals, families, and community organisations that reflect life during the pandemic, and invites all members of the Melbourne Jewish community to contribute digital artefacts as well as reflections on how life has changed in regards to Jewishness and Jewish practice as the spread of coronavirus forced the city into isolation.

The Centre is interested in the ways that the lives of individuals and families were affected, the disruptions and adaptations to the daily and weekly cycles of Jewish life, the impact on schools and community organisations, educational and cultural programming and on the celebration of holidays and memorial days, including Pesach, Yom Hashoah, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Shavuot and more. They are calling for items that capture moments of sadness and loss as well as unexpected joys and triumphs.

The Centre invites submissions of a range of materials including photographs and videos of family celebrations, social media posts and memes, advertisements and recordings of community events, newspaper articles and cartoons etc. In addition, the Centre invites Melbourne’s Jewish community to submit written reflections on Jewish life in lockdown.

The archive is part of Journal of the Plague Year, a global undertaking initiated by Catherine O'Donnell, Richard Amesbury, and Mark Tebeau in the School for Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. The Jewish Melbourne project is being led by ACJC's Associate Professor (Practice) Rebecca Forgasz and Associate Professor David Slucki, together with Project Curator Jordy Silverstein.

For further information on the project and how to get involved, click here.