The National Library “Kadimah” was founded in 1911 and has served the cultural and intellectual needs of the vibrant, Jewish migrant community of Melbourne. It specializes in all aspects of Judaica and Holocaust literature in Yiddish and houses the largest collection of Yiddish books, periodicals, reference, audio and video materials in Australia.
The library acknowledges key supporters and has dedicated special collections as follows:
- Yasha Sher Reading Room
- Bono Weiner Collection
- Genia and Chaim Borensztajn Holocaust Memorial – Yizkor Collection
- Moishe Rabinowicz Multimedia Research Centre
- Dafner Family Yiddish Audio-Visual Radio Collection.
The library also supports the Yosef Gilligich Foundation and shares an online catalogue network with “The Lamm Jewish Library of Australia”.
The Kadimah aims to preserve and promote Yiddish books and reading to adults and children by:
- Providing a welcoming and comfortable environment to encourage wider usage.
- Collecting, mainly through donations, items in Yiddish or on Yiddish themes relating to the Yiddish speaking community in Melbourne.
- Providing a meeting space Yiddish book clubs and reading groups.
- Promoting the Yiddish language to children through storytelling and by acquiring a small children’s collection in Yiddish.
- Providing public access computers to enable research of the Kadimah collection and other Jewish organisations worldwide.
The library is open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am until 1pm, or by appointment.