Interview – Norman Seligman

Norman Seligman was recently awarded a Museums & Galleries of NSW Individual Achievement award at the 2021 IMAGinE awards.

During Norman Seligman’s 19 years as the CEO of the Sydney Jewish Museum the institution has seen many changes including a complete rebuilding of its exhibition spaces, major upgrades to a number of exhibitions and the introduction of new collections, the conception of a new Education and Resource Centre and growth in annual student visitor numbers from 8000 in 2002 to nearly 30,000 in 2019, among other achievements.

Under Norman’s leadership, the museum has become widely seen as a world-class museum of the Holocaust and Human Rights. His ability to handle all the various aspects of the museum, from financial to caring for Holocaust survivors has ensured the high esteem in which the museum is held within the community.

Norman has been at the forefront of projects focused on preserving the voices of the Holocaust survivors as well as the roll-out of regional programmes as well as expanding archives and exhibits.

The ambitious program Dimensions in Testimony which will launch at the end of this year, as part of a collaboration with the Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles, uses high-tech filming methods to capture the stories of 6 Australian Holocaust survivors in three dimensions to allow future generations to have lifelike conversations with them in the museum.

The most recent upgrades to the museum are expected to raise the capacity to allow 20 per cent more students to visit each year, who make up over half of the museum’s 60,000 annual visitors.

Seligman will finish in his role of CEO at the end of 2021 to take up a new role managing and growing the recently formed Sydney Jewish Museum Foundation.

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