October 25, 2019
Explore Jewish food, culture and history in Elsternwick Village
It’s a culture as old as time, steeped in rich and precious tradition, and contributing to the history and character of the world’s most vibrant cities.
Today, Jewish people worldwide continue to celebrate 4,000 years of unbroken religious and cultural traditions – and share them with their friends and neighbours of other faiths.
Elsternwick Village is the centre of Jewish life in Melbourne, with restaurants, stores and activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in this welcoming culture.
Here’s where you can find Jewish food, culture and history in Elsternwick Village:
The soul of Jewish culture is captured in its culinary traditions that have been passed down through families, many of which are enshrined in scripture.
Most dishes have their roots in the Middle Eastern regions of the countries where Judaism originated, but Jewish cuisine has changed and evolved as Judaism has spread throughout the world.
Elsternwick Village captures this global reach of Judaism in its large and eclectic range of food stores and restaurants, that range from strictly kosher, to modern Jewish fusion.
Aviv Cakes & Bagels produce traditional European pastries and cakes using recipes that have been passed down through generations, and Savion Cakes & Bagels produce traditional baked goods such as bagels, challah, matzah and babka on-site under the supervision of Kosher Australia. And, if you’re searching for the freshest range of Jewish breads, don’t walk past Olia Bakery.
For Jewish people, family life often revolves around meals and Kosher Kingdom is where Melbourne’s Jewish community shop for a huge range of kosher food products.
Many of Elsternwick’s restaurants embrace Jewish cuisine. While it is not a dedicated Jewish restaurant, Budapest Hungarian Restaurant and Palinka Bar does offer a special Passover menu. And of course, there is Mama Falafel, which offers kosher certified restaurant dining and take-home options.
Judaica gifts and homewares
The Jewish calendar has many holidays and events, and many of them are synonymous with gift-giving and homewares to mark the occasions.
Whether you’re looking for new kitchenware to celebrate Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), a menorah for Hanukkah, kiddush cups to sanctify the Shabbat and Jewish holidays, or any other special occasion gifts and homewares for Jewish events, you’ll be sure to find something suitable in Elsternwick Village.
Ruby’s Gifts specialises in Judaica gifts and homewares, and staff members are equipped with the knowledge to recommend appropriate gifts for specific Jewish occasions. The store offers everything including jewellery, kitchenware, challah boards, seder plates, candlesticks and more. View their full range of Judaica gifts and homewares here.
Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF)
Running for about four weeks across October and November, the Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF) is where Jewish culture is explored and celebrated through the art of film.
Following on a 28-year tradition of Jewish film festivals in Australia, the Jewish International Film Festival serves up an eclectic range of Israeli and Jewish-themed films at the Classic Cinema, right in the heart of Elsternwick.
The Jewish Holocaust Centre
The Jewish Holocaust Centre in Elsternwick stands as a poignant memorial to the six million Jewish people killed in the holocaust, as well as a stunning commitment to ensuring such evil is never allowed to happen again.
Opened in 1984, the museum is filled with historical items, photographs, model replicas of the camps, as well as video testimonies and StoryPods, where visitors can hear stories of the holocaust as told by the survivors themselves.
The children’s section is curated to help explain this dark chapter in history in an age-appropriate way, using visuals and technology.
The Jewish Holocaust Centre was started by a group of Elsternwick residents who fled the holocaust and chose to rebuild their lives in Australia.
Visitors are warmly welcomed by volunteers who generously share their experiences and wisdom learned. They are our neighbours and our friends, and they have a culture worth celebrating.