Reestablished at the Center for Jewish History in Chelsea in 2000—also the home of the YIVO Institute, the American Jewish Historical Society, the Leo Baeck Institute and the American Sephardi Federation—the museum mounts exhibitions that explore virtually all aspects of Jewish life and tradition.
Since its establishment in 1973, the museum's permanent collection has grown significantly and today includes a live biblical garden, scale models of ten historic synagogues, a Sephardic costume collection and paintings and graphics by Israeli artists. One recent acquisition of particular interest is a rare 500-year-old transcript of a famous trial that resulted in the destruction of a Jewish community in northern Italy.
Formerly located in Washington Heights, the downtown location offers a much higher public profile for the museum. In addition to the museum's four spacious galleries, there is also a children's art discovery room and an outdoor sculpture garden.
Build a menorah, paint a matzoh cover, engrave a mirror frame or take a trip into antiquity via a gallery tour and talk. Some programs are just for kids, others are just for adults, and all relate to either museum exhibitions or Jewish holidays, providing a pleasant way for Jewish young people to share their culture with non-Jewish friends.
Age-appropriate guided tours and hands-on workshops are offered in conjunction with changing exhibitions. One of the museum's most popular programs is the annual free Spring Workshop offered to neighborhood students of District 6 schools. Contact the museum for a current listing of school programs.