Sydney Jewish Museum
A 100-year-old interwar classical memorial building that now houses a museum
About the building
The Sydney Jewish Museum is housed within the historic NSW Jewish Memorial Hall, also known as the Maccabean Hall or, affectionately, ‘The Macc’.
Sydney architect Gordon Keesing designed the Maccabean Hall, an interwar classical-style building, in the early 1920s. Officially opened in 1923, it provided a social and educational centre for Sydney’s Jewish community and stood as a memorial to Jewish soldiers from NSW who served in World War I.
After World War II, The Macc became crucial in rehabilitating and integrating Jewish refugees from Europe in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Its spaces were used for English lessons, weddings, Sunday dances, meetings, rallies and commemorative events for ANZAC soldiers and Holocaust victims.
In 1965, the building was expanded by architect Henry Epstein in a Brutalist architectural style. The modernist facade features a large concrete sculpture of an abstracted seven-branch Menorah by Australian sculptor Lyndon Dadswell.
Since 1992, the building has been home to the Sydney Jewish Museum. It retains the original Art Deco barrel-vaulted ceiling, and the sculptural staircase designed by architect Michael Bures takes the shape of the Star of David, the universal Jewish symbol.Built
Michael Bures, 1980s
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