Monday, November 22, 2010

Grand Opening - National Jewish History Museum

One of the biggest events in museum news in Philadelphia during the month of November is the grand opening of the National Jewish History Museum. So big was the grand opening it was attended by the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler. But what can you expect to find on a visit to the National Jewish History Museum?

While I could summarize what the museum is about, it's probably better you read it yourself. Here' is a quote from the Core Exhibition link from their website:

The core exhibition will be the first major exhibit devoted solely to the experiences of Jews in North America, from the 1654 arrival of Jewish refugees from Recife, Brazil, to today.  Beginning on the fourth floor of the exhibition, entitled Foundations of Freedom, 1654-1880, visitors will examine the democratic principles that early Jewish immigrants embraced and incorporated into their own emerging communities.  The Foundations of Freedom profiles the earliest Jewish communities and captures the flavor of everyday Jewish life in America from the colonial era through the late 1800s.
Foundations of Freedom reflects the process by which a tiny minority sought, defended, and tested freedom—in political affairs, in relations with Christian neighbors, and in their own understanding of what it meant to be Jewish. It will explore issues that are at once historical and familiar: creating new communities, intermarriage, integration, preserving faith, and maintaining rituals in the absence of Jewish institutions and services. This floor will introduce the lively tug-of-war between religious innovation/experimentation and continuity, and will raise questions about what it meant to be a small minority in a young and still-evolving nation. The chapter ends on the eve of the great migration from Eastern Europe that began in the late 1800s, a point at which the Jewish community had gained a measure of security and acceptance, but was about to undergo a tremendous transformation.

There's more. A lot more. But to truly get a feel for what you will experience, open your Museums In Philly app, select List History, then National Museum of American Jewish History. After making this selection, scroll down to "Touch *HERE* for Collections, Events, Membership and Parking". From here click the Core Exhibition link to read the rest.
And of course, when you're ready to visit, simply touch the address for navigation and you're on your way.

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