The Children's Galleries for Jewish Culture is a non-religious organization that engages schoolchildren and families in an active, hands-on exploration of history and culture in non-threatening and inclusive ways to benefit the diverse Jewish community and the community at large.
It is home to two hands-on exhibitions with over eighty interactive stations for children ages 5-12. Activities in "From Home to Home: Jewish Immigration to America" include packing small trunks, decoding a new language while shopping at a supermarket, designing a neighborhood and much more. In "From Tent to Temple: Life in the Ancient Near East," children can learn to weave and spin wool, dress a manikin in ancient clothes, grind wheat, hunt for food with a bow and arrow and try 40 other activities. At any time, visitors are also welcome to visit the art room for additional craft activities.
Children ages 5 and older only.
Please note that strollers can not be accommodated.
The Children's Galleries for Jewish Culture is home to two fully interactive and hands-on exhibitions for schools serving children between grades 2-6. Open for organized field trips on Sunday (9 am-12:30 pm), Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (9 am-5 pm) by appointment. School field trips: $3 or $4 per student (minimum of $50 or $65).
From Home to Home: Jewish Immigration to America
The exhibition enhances the study of immigration, American history and diversity through child-oriented entry points and captivating problem-solving activities. It uses Jewish immigration to exemplify those issues of the immigrant experience that are common to all immigrants, wherever they come from.
Children use a scale to weigh tangible arguments for staying or leaving, peek into miniature dioramas of life in many periods and places and participate in a family conversation at a dinner table in Germany in the wake of the Nuremberg Laws.
Packing scaled down objects in trunks, children decide which of their possessions are truly important to them, and then explore the reasons for which particular belongings were brought along by the immigrants.
Once in America, children shop in a supermarket in which everything is written in a language they don't understand and packaged in unfamiliar boxes. They try to fit a family of ten into a small apartment and peek into miniature dioramas again, this time to see scenes from life in the new country.
Children build their own neighborhoods and decide on the character of a community through a democratic process. They dress immigrant children in new American clothes.
Just like real advertisers, they add "old country" elements to local products to make them more attractive to the immigrants, and "Americanize" products brought along by immigrants.
From Home to Home complements aspects of the Social Studies curriculum, and encourages children to practice skills such as the ability to obtain information from primary documents, to link cause and effect, to infer and to make predictions.
From Tent to Temple: Life in the Ancient Near East
All children will benefit from a visit to this vibrant exhibition that integrates science, geography, art and archaeology with social, ethical and psychological issues. The exhibition animates and complements the study of ancient cultures, basic needs, natural resources, technologies and comparative religions and communities around the world through experiential and hands-on problem solving activities.
The 55 interactive stations engage children in an active exploration of four major topics: food, shelter, clothing and adornment and archaeology. Children view, manipulate and describe in detail artifacts to strengthen their observational and deductive skills.
In the food section, children examine the concept of a balanced diet and create a meal from foods of the ancient Near East. They see how important water is and discover how food was procured. They hunt for food, grind wheat and invent cooking implements.
In the section about shelter and building, children explore geography as a factor in settlement and styles of building. They weave cloth for a tent, build a farmhouse, explore the simple machines used in the building of pyramids and temples, and "import" the materials used in the construction of Solomon's temple.
Exploring clothing and adornment, children find out where fabrics and precious materials came from, and dress a mannequin in period costumes representing the styles of the ancient Near East.
In the fourth section, children engage in an archaeological excavation to figure out how archaeological finds help historians create a tangible portrayal of the lives of people in the "cradle of civilization."
Professional development workshops, teacher and docent training sessions, and internship and volunteer opportunities are also available.