Guide to the Arts
Exhibits/ Music Festivals/ Film Festivals/Theater
The Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum, Phoenix (480-951-0323; www.cbiaz.org/about/museum)
The museum features a composite synagogue sanctuary from Djerba, Tunisia, with ornate floral-motif tiles and wooden Torah casings, and a life-cycle exhibit. Permanent exhibit.
The Evanne Copeland Kofman Biblical Garden, Scottsdale (480-951-0323; www.cbiaz.org)
Features plants mentioned in the Bible—grape, flax, terebinth, papyrus, fig, date, ebony and olive.
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Los Angeles (323-651-3704; www.lamoth.org)
Innovative architecture and technology to provide and in-depth experience of the Holocaust. Permanent exhibit.
Museum of Tolerance: A Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum, Los Angeles (310-553-8403; www.museumoftolerance.com)
Holocaust Section An immersive tour allows visitors to witness history unfold in just 70 minutes. Each visitor receives a passport of a child of the Holocaust and learns of their fate at the conclusion of the tour. Highlights include an outdoor café scene depicting concerned citizens in 1930s Berlin, as the television screens above relate these customers’ fates; a hall of testimony; a passport printout area; and Simon Wiesenthal’s office. Ongoing.
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles (310-440-4500; www.skirball.org)
Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America An evaluation of the history of the Jews to the present with an emphasis on themes such as Journeys, Holidays, Lifecycle, Synagogue, Passage to America, Nation of Immigrants, the Holocaust, Israel and more. Permanent exhibit.
Noah’s Ark An interactive display, a floor-to-ceiling wooden ark is a fun reminder of the ancient flood story. Permanent exhibit.
Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco (415-655-7800; www.thecjm.org)
Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations Black artists used Jewish music as a resource for African American identity, history and politics. Ongoing.
Mizel Museum, Denver (303-394-9993; mizelmuseum.org)
4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks Celebrating the Jewish journey through art, artifacts and installations, this recently opened exhibit opened received rave reviews. Permanent exhibit.
Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Beach (305-672-5044; www.jewishmuseum.com )
Mosaic: Jewish Life in Florida Depicts Jewish life in Florida from 1763, when Jews were first allowed to settle there, to the present. Core exhibit.
The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Atlanta (678-222-3700; www.thebreman.org)
Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years, 1933-1945 This exhibit describes the systematic murder of six million European Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators through historical photographs and documents, memorabilia and family pictures, and in the voices of those who survived and made new lives in Atlanta. Permanent exhibit.
Creating Community: The Jews of Atlanta from 1845 to the Present
This display begins with the story of two young peddlers, Jacob Haas and Henry Levi, who settled in Atlanta and opened a dry-goods store, and continues to the present day when more than 100,000 Jews call metro Atlanta home. Permanent exhibit.
The Legacy Project: Coming to America View video interviews of Atlanta residents who are Holocaust survivors, explore family photograph albums and peruse relevant documents. Interactive maps of Europe provide historical information about the home countries of local survivors and the fate of Jewish populations during World War II. Permanent exhibit.
Project Mah Jongg An exploration of the tradition, history, and impact of the game in Jewish life from the 1920s to today. Large graphics on display by Isaac Mizrachi, Maira Kalman and others show the game as muse. A game table is available for visitors. Until October 2013.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Skokie (847-967-4800; www.ilholocaustmuseum.org)
Karkomi Permanent Exhibition More than 500 artifacts, documents and photographs tell the Holocaust story and testimonies from local survivors add detail. A German rail car, typical of those used in Nazi deportation programs, is in the building. Visitors must be at least 12 years old. Permanent exhibit.
Spertus Museum, Chicago (312-322-1700; www.spertus.edu)
Open Depot Collection Display This ingenious storage and display area houses and presents more than 1,500 objects. Ongoing.
Woof and Drash: Weaving the Jewish Experience Miniature tapestries by Berit Engen inspired by the Jewish experience—the laws of the Torah, ancient prayers, repairing the world and more. Through February 23, 2014.
Candles Holocaust Museum, Terre Haute (812-234-7881; www.candlesholocaustmuseum.org)
Eva Kor survived Auschwitz as a child and dedicated her life to Holocaust education, primarily through this museum and through educational advocacy.
Mengele’s Twins The horrifying story of the thousands of twins who were experimented upon by Joseph Mengele of whom museum founder Eva Kor is one. Permanent exhibit.
The Jewish Museum of Maryland, Baltimore (410-732-6400; www.jewishmuseummd.org)
Voice of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore: This long-term exhibit chronicles the area that was once the center of Jewish life in Baltimore in the early 1900s.
The Synagogue Speaks (Downstairs Lloyd Street Synagogue)
This new long-term exhibit celebrates and explores the history of the landmark Lloyd Street Synagogue in Baltimore, built in 1845 and today the third-oldest standing synagogue in the United States. Permanent exhibit.
The Ratner Museum, Bethesda (301-897-1518; www.theratnermuseum.com)
On display are a variety of artistic expressions of the Bible in the form of paintings, drawings and sculpture—ranging from Genesis to the Song of Songs. Permanent exhibit.
The Vilna Shul, Boston Center for Jewish Culture, Boston (617-523-2324; www.vilnashul.org)
Reconnect the Tapestry Between 1850 and 1950, Boston’s Jewish community grew and flourished. Boston’s Jews created a new American identity that balanced Old World with New, obligation with opportunity. This exhibit helps visitors learn about and reconnect with their Bostonian heritage. Long-running.
National Yiddish Book Center, Amherst (413-256-4900; www.yiddishbookcenter.org)
A Velt Mit Veltelekh: The Worlds of Yiddish Culture Drawn from the material at the center, a display of Yiddish novels, plays, poetry, newspapers and more that preserve and reinvigorate the vibrant culture nearing extinction. Long-running.
Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus, Farmington Hills. (248-553-2400; www.holocaustcenter.org)
Portraits of Honor: Our Michigan Holocaust Survivors (www.portraitsofhonor.org) An interactive exhibit of 400 Michigan Holocaust survivors.
Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis (612-821-9045; http://tmora.org)
Jewish Life in the Russian Empire Images taken between 1867 and 1914 of Jewish life in the Pale of Settlement. Through October 20, 2013.
Center for Jewish History, New York (212-294-8301; http://www.cjh.org)
Biblical Species The 4,000-square-foot floor is embedded with aluminum, bronze and mother of pearl, depicting the seven species, shivat haminim, brought to Moses. Permanent exhibit.
Museum at Eldridge Street, New York (212-219-0302; www.eldridgestreet.com)
This magnificently restored 125-year-old synagogue is a National Historic Landmark that tells the story of the immigrants who lived on the Lower East Side, their traditions, beliefs, politics and social life. Its architecture is Romanesque and Moorish with a 50-foot vaulted ceiling and stained-glass windows. It is a must-see site.
The 125th Anniversary of the Eldridge Street Synagogue is celebrated online (www.eldridgestreet.org/collections) with three collections: Beyond the Façade: Architecture and Preservation, Ways We Worship: Jewish Ritual and Practice and From Ellis to Eldridge: Immigrant History. Each relates to a tour given at the museum.
The Jewish Museum, New York (212-423-3337; www.thejewishmuseum.org)
Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey The unfolding story of Jewish culture and identity as reflected through Jewish art and artifact. Permanent exhibit.
Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York (646-437-4200; www.mjhnyc.org)
Jewish Life A Century Ago; The War Against the Jews; and Jewish Renewal Two centuries told through a rotating collection of 25,000 artifacts, photographs, and documentary films. Core exhibit.
Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, New York (212-431-1619; www.kkjsm.org)
Janina Project: Celestial Structures Hanging crystal structures by Judy Moonelis. Permanent display.
Yeshiva University Museum, New York (212-294-8330; www.yumuseum.org)
Shabbat—Inside and Out This exhibit highlights two aspects of the Shabbat holiday: the private/domestic and the communal/ceremonial. Through January 5, 2014.
Derfner Judaica Museum at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale (718-581-1596; www.hebrewhome.org/art.asp)
Treasures of the Judaica Museum On display are objects by Jerusalem and European artisans at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, the Baum Legacy collection, Modernist interpretations of traditional objects and ritual art from a diverse range of Jewish communities. Open run.
Lynda Caspe: Biblical Reliefs Exhibition of 12 reliefs of her biblical interpretation, drawings and an example of her wax maquettes. From September 22 to January 5, 2014.
Gilbert Pavilion Gallery at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale (718-581-1596; www.hebrewhome.org/currentexhibits.asp)
Lynda Caspe: Cityscapes Concurrent exhibition of 14 paintings including a selection of her rooftop views painted from a window. From September 22 to January 5, 2014.
Skirball Museum at the Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati (513-221-1875; www.huc.edu)
An Eternal People: The Jewish Experience Seven galleries portray the cultural, historic and religious heritage of the Jewish people. Permanent exhibit.
The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Beachwood (216-593-0575; www.mmjh.org). Traitor–Spies, Lies and Justice Denied: The Dreyfus Affair A new exhibit on the famous Dreyfus case of anti-Semitism and justice denied. October 2013 through mid-January 2014
Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, Tulsa (918-492-1818; www.jewishmuseum.net)
On display are archaeological and ritual objects, costumes, fine art and Americana as well as memorabilia donated by Oklahoma veterans who took part in the liberation of German concentration camps and by Jewish refugees.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia (215-236-3300; www.easternstate.org)
Alfred W. Fleisher Memorial Synagogue
Completed around 1924 and used continuously until the Eastern State Penitentiary closed in 1970, the synagogue has been faithfully restored with dark wooden benches, a beautiful Ark, reader’s table, ornate plaster Star of David and an eternal flame. An exhibit describes Jewish life in the 180-year-old institution. Permanent exhibit.
National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia (215-923-3811; www.nmajh.org)
Core exhibition spans four floors and 350 years of the American Jewish experience.
The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats includes more than 70 original works by the beloved children’s books author and illustrator. Through October 20.
Janet Levin March Gallery at the Gordon Jewish Community Center, Nashville (615-356-7170; www.nashvillejcc.org)
A monthly rotation of Jewish jewelry and art showcases the work of local artists.
Holocaust Museum Houston, Houston (713-942-8000; www.hmh.org)
Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers
Film footage, artifacts, photographs and documents show life in prewar Europe, the Nazi move toward the Final Solution and life after the Holocaust. Includes a rare collection of children’s shoes recovered from the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland. Permanent exhibit.
Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives, Richmond (804-353-2668; www.bethahabah.org)
Commonwealth and Community: The Jewish Experience in Virginia Traces the 400-year history of Jewish presence in Virginia, and includes a copy of George Washington’s letter to the Hebrew congregations of Philadelphia, New York, Charleston and Richmond. Permanent exhibit.
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum (202-789-0900; www.jhsgw.org)
Jewish Life in Mr. Lincoln’s City The vibrant centers of activity during the Civil War had a strong Jewish presence in their midst. This exhibit focuses on the stories of Jews in Washington D.C. and Alexandria during this period.
National Archives Building, Lawrence O’Brien Gallery (202-357-5300; www.archives.gov)
Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage Historical materials—from 1540 to the 1970s—of the Jewish community in Iraq recovered from Saddam Hussein’s flooded intelligence headquarters and the U.S. determination to preserve them. October 11 through January 5, 2014.
National Museum of American Jewish Military History (202-265-6280; www.nmajmh.org)
Hall of Heroes: American Jewish Recipients of the Medal of Honor Preserving the memories and heroic stories of the fifteen Jewish soldiers who received the medal of honor. Permanent exhibit.
Women in the Military: A Jewish Perspective This long-running exhibit profiles great women veterans from the Civil War to the Gulf War. Transcending the social restrictions of being a Jew and being a woman in the Army, these women’s achievements represent a significant shift in the history of Jewish women in America.
Rescue and Renewal: GIs and Displaced Persons This exhibit evaluates the relationship between Jewish GIs and the displaced Jews after World War II. Forging a bond based on common heritage, these soldiers were often able to provide and care for the victims of the Holocaust, contributing to their physical and emotional well-being.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (866-998-7466; www.ushmm.org)
State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda This long-term exhibit reveals how the Nazi Party used modern techniques as well as new technologies to carefully craft messages to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany.
Jewish Museum Milwaukee (419-390-5730; www.jewishmuseummilwaukee.org)
Exploration of Jewish life in Milwaukee using artifacts, personal narratives, stills and film through six themes: Immigration, A Community Within, Earning a Living, Intolerance and the Holocaust, Israel and After, and Tikkun Olam. Permanent exhibit.