THE expansion of Beth Weizmann Community Centre has been financially assured after the family of Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) president Dr Danny Lamm donated an undisclosed amount of money.
Dr Lamm, who is also the chairman of Beth Weizmann, joined with his wife Rolene and one of his
sons, Rafi, to make the substantial donation.
During last year’s Victorian election, former premier John Brumby committed almost $1 million to the expansion of the current Jewish community centre in Hawthorn Road, Caulfield.
That funding was conditional on matching funds being provided by Jewish donors, and a statement by the Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV), which administers the centre, said the Lamm family donation “has more than met that condition”.
That money will be used to relocate the Makor Jewish Community Library, which for the first time will expand to include the collections of Kadimah, the Jewish Holocaust Centre, the Jewish Museum of Australia, the Australian Jewish Genealogical Society and the Australian Jewish Historical Society.
Together, the collections will form what is to be known as the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia on the site next to the current Beth Weizmann at 304 Hawthorn Road.
The vacated library space in 302 Hawthorn Road will free up more office space, allowing the Anti-Defamation Commission to move into the building.
Speaking after making the donation, Dr Lamm said the library would be a significant asset to the community.
“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,” he said. “The library is a major project that has been several years in the making and we can now secure its development.”
The expanded library will also include host community programs and will serve as a hub for educational and cultural activities.
ZCV president Sam Tatarka praised Dr Lamm for his leadership in committing to the large donation.
“Dr Lamm has been at the forefront of the Zionist community for many years and was the driving force behind the acquisition of 304 Hawthorn Road and the establishment of the Jewish Library of Australia,” Tatarka said.
“Rafi and Rolene have now joined together with Dr Lamm to support his vision and, in doing so, the Lamms have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the community and its future.”