Jewish Museums Across the U.S.

 


The William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum in Atlanta, Georgia explores the universal themes of respect for difference, responsible citizenship, human dignity, and community-building through the lens of the Jewish experience. Through its public exhibitions and programs, the museum provides visitors with a strong historical perspective, as well as a positive example of the strength of the human spirit and our interdependence. The Breman houses two permanent exhibitions, Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years, which provides the history of the Holocaust, and Creating Community: The Jews of Atlanta from 1845 to the Present, depicting Jewish life in the State of Georgia.  It also includes one gallery for special exhibitions, a resource library, and extensive archives relating to Jewish history in Georgia with materials (diaries, documents, scrapbooks, photographs, recordings, oral histories; and an extensive newspaper collection) that date back to the 1850s. The Breman's exhibitions, including ones showcasing the art of Maurice Sendak, and another on the golden age of comic books, have traveled extensively to other Jewish museums across the United States and Canada.  Spotlight image: Mechanical horse from Atlanta school goods company, in The Breman's collection.

The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma is the flagship of The Fenster/Sanditen Cultural Center. The only American Jewish museum in the region, it houses the largest collection of Judaica in the American Southwest. It also serves as the Jewish Historical Society of Oklahoma.  The museum was founded in 1966 as the Gershon & Rebecca Fenster Museum of Jewish Art. In 2000, it was renamed the Sherwin Miller Museum in recognition of the seminal vision of its first curator. Through exhibitions and educational programs focusing on Jewish culture, history, religion, and art, the museum works to deepen understanding of the Jewish people, their faith, and their history. The museum has exhibited the work of such artists as Bernard Solomon, Raffi Kaiser; Gail Rubin, and and Chaim Hendin. Exhibitions have included Anne Frank in the World: 1930-1945, Creativity Under Duress: From Gulag to Glasnost, Prairie Landsmen: The Jews of Oklahoma, and Breaking the Glass: Wedding Traditions in Oklahoma Cultures.  Spotlight image:  Exterior of museum.

The Oregon Jewish Museum, the Pacific Northwest's only Jewish museum, examines and preserves the rich cultural heritage of one of Oregon's earliest immigrant groups through its collections, programs and exhibitions. It recently moved to a new home at 1953 NW Kearney Street in Portland. The OJM archives comprises major collections of organizational records, family papers, photographs and ephemeral materials dating from 1850 to the present. The museum is actively developing a community oral history archive that chronicles the experiences of Oregon Jews. A related cemetery project brings small groups of community members to Jewish cemeteries in Portland to film and interview them as they walk and reminisce about their family and friends who are buried there. The OJM brings a replica steamer trunk filled with museum objects to 3rd-5th grade classrooms for a program that explores Jewish immigration to the state. Recent exhibits include The Original Fiddler: Sholem Aleichem's Theater, The Shape of Time: accumulations of place and memory, Alice Lok Cahana: From Ashes to the Rainbow, and Yes We Can! Unlearning Discrimination in Oregon. Spotlight image:  OJM exhibition Jews@Work: Law and Medicine.

Yeshiva University Museum is housed within the Center for Jewish History in New York City.  Through its acclaimed multi-disciplinary exhibitions and award-winning publications, it provides a window into Jewish culture around the world and throughout history. With dynamic interpretations of Jewish life, past and present, along with wide-ranging cultural offerings and programs, the museum attracts young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. YUM includes four galleries, an exhibition arcade, an outdoor sculpture garden, a docent lounge, and a children's workshop room. Exhibitions reflect the diversity of the Museum's collection of more than 8,000 artifacts and provide unique opportunities for artists, historians, collectors, and ethnographers to examine, compare, and research objects, ideas, and techniques. Programs include family craft workshops, lectures, films, concerts, and multilingual exhibition tours in English, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, and Yiddish. YUM's educational staff works with administrators and teachers in New York City public schools to provide young students with art education as part of their school curriculum.  Spotlight image: Exhibition Folk Art of Herman Braginsky, photograph by Bilyana Dimitrova.