The United States is home to a number of synagogues and museums that celebrate and chronicle Jewish life. Below is a list of four of the best Jewish museums located in the United States. Each one is worth visiting and offers a fascinating look at Jewish culture.
Jewish Museum of Maryland – Baltimore, Maryland
The Jewish Museum of Maryland was founded in 1960. Its original goal was to renovate the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue, but today it’s a center for Jewish history and culture. In addition to the Lloyd Street Synagogue, the center also includes a museum that features various exhibits, meeting areas, and a gift shop. The Jewish Museum of Maryland’s goal is to “encourage discourse about Jewish life in Maryland and beyond” (About Us).
Jewish Museum – New York City, New York
New York’s Jewish Museum is the United States’ first Jewish museum and the oldest Jewish museum in the world. The museum is home to more than 30,000 objects and pieces of art that are related to Jewish culture. In 1904 the museum was founded, but it didn’t open up to the public until 1947. It has a permanent exhibit titled Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey and various temporary exhibits at different times of the year.
Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art – Tulsa, OK
In 1965 a Tulsa synagogue shared the Jewish Museum’s exhibit titled “Traditional Ceremonial Art.” The community enjoyed the exhibit so much that the Gershon and Rebecca Fenster Gallery of Jewish Art was opened the following year. Today the museum is named after its first curator Sherwin Miller. The museum’s permanent collection traces the history of the Jewish people and their journey to settling in the American Southwest and in the Tulsa area in particular. Another section of the museum, the Herman and Kate Kaiser Holocaust Exhibition, features objects donated by area veterans who helped liberate Nazi concentration camps. It also includes many objects that belonged to those who died in the Holocaust.
National Holocaust Museum – Washington, D.C.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is located near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Its goal is to help “citizens and leaders worldwide… confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity” (About the Museum). Since its opening the museum has seen “more than 40 million visitors, including 99 heads of state” pass through its doors (About the Museum). The museum’s permanent exhibit focuses on the Holocaust and features over 900 artifacts related to the event. Visitors learn about survivors through their personal testimonies.