The most influential and important Yiddish organisation in Melbourne has been the Kadimah.  It includes the National Library, the Yiddish Theatre, and acts and has acted as a venue for political debate, education, cultural lectures and most importantly as an anchor and focus point for the Yiddish speaking community.  The Kadimah has been, and still is, the fulcrum around which Yiddish communal activity turns.

A full house at the Kadimah in Lygon Street Carlton, 1950
A full house at the Kadimah in Lygon Street Carlton, 1950

Closely woven into the fabric of the Yiddish community, and integrally involved with the Kadimah, is the Bund organisation in Melbourne.  The Bund, adhering to the ideological principles of its forerunner in Eastern Europe, quickly made an impact on community politics and institutions.  The platforms of socialism, doikayt (hereness) and Yiddish meant that their contribution and development of the community’s schools, literary efforts, and welfare organisations was enormous.

Kadimah – Jewish Cultural Centre and National Library




Holocaust Centre