Since the Museum first opened its doors in 1997, visitors of all ages and backgrounds have gained a vital perspective on 20th and 21st century Jewish history and heritage. Now in its second decade, the Museum has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors from all over the world who come away with a message of memory and hope that is of universal significance.
Called “one of the most moving cultural experiences in the city” by Time Out, this Museum is one of New York City’s most impressive destinations.
The Core Exhibition differs from other institutions of memory by telling the story of the Holocaust from the perspective of those who experienced it. Using first-person histories and personal objects, the Museum explains the essence and beauty of Jewish life and serves as a repository for the memories of Holocaust survivors, whose stories will live on long after they are gone and will continue to teach future generations.
The Core Exhibition is organized around three themes: Jewish Life a Century Ago, The War Against the Jews, and Jewish Renewal each told on a separate floor.
Many objects from the Museum’s collection are available online in a searchable database.
The Core Exhibition is housed in the Museum’s original structure, which features a remarkable six-sided building —symbolic of the six points of the Star of David and the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
Special Exhibitions in the Robert M. Morgenthau Wing allow the Museum to complement and expand upon the themes presented in the Core Exhibition. Topics have ranged from Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, to the experience of European Jews finding refuge and teaching in the Jim Crow south, to a lighthearted look at the game of mah jongg in Jewish American life.
The Pickman Keeping History Center features the award-winning installations Voices of Liberty and Timekeeper, which use new technologies to link the past with the present.
Andy Goldsworthy’s memorial Garden of Stones represents the fragility and tenacity of life, and is his only permanent installation in New York City.
Artist James Carpenter’s Reflection Passage provides a contemplative space that captures New York Harbor’s ephemeral qualities of light and water.
Edmond J. Safra Hall is an intimate 375-seat state-of-the-art theater that hosts a range of acclaimed films, lectures, readings, plays, and concerts highlighting the richness of Jewish culture and ideas.