Margaret Street Cheder, 2007

A Cheder is Hebrew for “room” and is also the word for Jewish Sunday School. Since the early 1900s in Brisbane, the Cheder at Margaret Street has been a source of learning and a gathering place for the Brisbane Jewish children for generations. However for the past few years, there have been no classes run.

I attended the Cheder every Sunday from the age of 6 until I was 13 (1994-2000) and decided 7 years later to re-visit, unlock the rooms and walk along the corridors once more. I could feel an absence and yet the memories were strong within the space as if I had only left yesterday. I felt the need to document these historic rooms; the old furniture and funny chairs covered in carvings and graffiti by children across generations, the smell of old books and the half rubbed out chalk drawings; the messages on the blackboards just visible.