The Lamm Jewish Library of Australia (LJLA) is a modern, multi-faceted community hub of Jewish learning and cultural activity. It is located at 304 Hawthorn Road, adjacent to the Beth Weizmann Jewish Community Centre.
The establishment of an Australian Jewish National Library and Resource Centre as a consolidated major community library, was the result of broad and specialized community consultation and consideration regarding current and future community needs. It was born out of the merger of the Makor Jewish library, together with important collections from the Kadimah and the Holocaust centre.
The LJLA has a collection of over 46,000 books, a rapidly expanding collection of eBooks, many audio-visual materials comprising DVDs, CDs and posters as well as journals in English, Hebrew and Yiddish. The library also houses several private collections that have been bequeathed, in particular the collections of Serge Liberman and Isabella and Joe Getreu.
The LJLA online catalogue lists the holdings of twelve organisations including the Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre and National Library, the Jewish Holocaust Centre and the Jewish Museum of Australia. Additionally, it includes the Ecological society, the Jewish Bereaved Parents and the Judaica collection donated by City of Glen Eira Library. The Library also holds the resources of the Australian Jewish Genealogical society and the Australian Jewish Historical society.
The State Government under former Premier John Brumby gave its seal of approval for the project in November 2010 when it presented the Zionist council with a One Million Dollar grant for the expansion of the Makor Jewish Community Library. The grant was conditional upon matching funds being provided and the generous donation by Mr Rafi Lamm and his parents Dr Danny and Dr Rolene Lamm more than met that condition. The new library premises were officially opened in 2016 by Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu who paid tribute to the Australian Jewish community.
Dr Danny Lamm AM past president of the ZCV and the ECAJ and immediate past president of the ZFA said “The Lamm Jewish Library of Australia is poised to be a cornerstone of Jewish communal life and our family is delighted to be directly involved in its foundation and future development.”
Dr Rolene Lamm, the chairperson of the LJLA endorses the library’s Mission Statement:
“The Lamm Jewish Library of Australia is a unique resource centre which was established to provide comprehensive information services on Jewish literary, genealogical, cultural, historical and religious topics as well as issues for the Australian community.”
The Library aims to:
provide access to major collections of Jewish knowledge and research materials
act as an electronic hub for a national network providing connection to Jewish resources across Australia and beyond; and
provide a cultural hub and focal point for the community.
The facility provides improved access to all library collections, for leisure, special interest and research, as well as offering extended programmes for the community. It provides a welcoming environment for people of all ages, private spaces for reading, study and research, and open areas for discussions, events, book clubs, children’s story time and film screenings.