Adjust size of text


Follow us and continue the conversation

Your saved articles

You haven't saved any articles

What are you looking for?

Massive funding boost for Jewish education and culture

The new Cranbourne Foundation will turn profits from a disused golf course into a philanthropic treasure chest for Victoria’s Jewish community.
Deborah Stone
Print this
golf ball with a dollar sign

Illustration: TJI

Published: 27 May 2024

Last updated: 27 May 2024

A new foundation drawn from the proceeds of the sale of the Cranbourne Country Club golf course will fund education, youth, and cultural activities in the Victorian Jewish community.

The new foundation is expected to provide millions of dollars annually for causes including – but not limited to – supporting education at Jewish schools, funding youth groups and investing in cultural initiatives.

"We believe this will be the largest injection of funds from any single source into the community."

Cranbourne Foundation CEO Jayne Josem

While the endowment has not been disclosed, the course is reported to have sold for $190 million and a substantial proportion of the proceeds will be vested in the new Cranbourne Foundation.

“We believe this will be the largest injection of funds from any single source into the community. It has the potential to make a really exciting impact,” CEO Jayne Josem told The Jewish Independent.

“There are so many organisations out there doing incredible work trying to foster pride in our Jewishness and really doing it with very little funding. This injection of funds has the potential to support so many important projects and programs.”

Josem, who recently retired as CEO of Melbourne’s Holocaust Museum, said many communal organisations had great programs but lacked the funding to maximise their potential for building community.

She said the foundation would have a strong focus on education, including fee support for students at Jewish schools, and on youth activities.

“We know the opportunity to really embed a connection with community comes from having a Jewish group, Jewish friends, incredible experiences that connect you with other people. That’s the basis for a lifelong connection.”

Income will be distributed annually through grants to programs run by communal organisations with an emphasis on those that support developing and sustaining Jewish community involvement.

The Cranbourne Country Club will retain a separate perpetual fund to support participation in Jewish sport in Victoria.

"While it was a difficult decision to sell our golf course, we are excited about the opportunity this provides to give back to the community."

Cranbourne Golf Club President Bradley Wein

The Cranbourne Golf Club was formed in 1951 as a home for Jewish golfers, at a time when Jews were denied access to many Melbourne clubs. It always welcomed both Jewish and non-Jewish golfers but was widely identified as a “Jewish club”.

As other clubs opened their doors, many golfers moved elsewhere, often closer to where they lived, and Cranbourne became financially unviable. In 2022, it struck a $120-million deal to merge with Huntingdale Golf Club in Oakleigh in 2022.

But the property it purchased for £20,000 in 1954 was a valuable asset with 70.4ha of residential zoned land. The Financial Review reported that the land could support between 1000 and 1500 dwellings – equating to a housing estate with a gross end value of about $1 billion once completed.

The Brown Property Group, owned by former Carlton football star Fraser Brown, is reported to have bought the course for about $190 million.

Cranbourne Country Club members voted to provide generous support to the Cranbourne Foundation for both the development of new initiatives and the expansion of existing programs either independently or in conjunction with other supporters. It is not intended that funds will be allocated to capital works.

The settlement of the land sale will occur in early 2026 and the Foundation expects to commence the grant application process in the second half of 2025.

Cranbourne Golf Club President Bradley Wein said, "While it was a difficult decision to sell our golf course, we are excited about the opportunity this provides to give back to the community through the Foundation."

Foundation Chair Stephen Sharp said the Foundation's objective was to foster a strong and vibrant community. "We look forward to supporting impactful initiatives that seek to enrich Jewish life in Victoria for generations to come."

About the author

Deborah Stone

Deborah Stone is Editor-in-Chief of TJI. She has more than 30 years experience as a journalist and editor, including as a reporter and feature writer on The Age and The Sunday Age, as Editor of the Australian Jewish News and as Editor of ArtsHub.


No comments on this article yet. Be the first to add your thoughts.

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

Enter site