MUSEUMS

In her entry on museums for the 1948 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia the eminent historian of Jewish art Rachel Bernstein Wischnitzer (1885–1989), founding curator of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, cited the origin of collecting and exhibiting of objects of Jewish art and archaeology as dating to 1863 when Félicien de Saulcy brought sarcophagi discovered in Jerusalem to the Louvre. In this way, she wrote, "Since the excavations in Palestine and other sites of (Jewish) archaeological interest were conducted by expeditions from many countries, Jewish excavation finds found their way into various museums all over the world …" Many finds were not related to the Jewish cultural heritage, but the significance of excavating in the Land of Israel was the study of the Bible. Similarly, interest in the Bible and other texts of the "people of the Book" led to the acquisition of important manuscripts and printed texts as some ceremonial objects for libraries and museums throughout Europe. The earliest group of Jewish ritual artifacts was acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, then called the South Kensington Museum, in London in 1855, just four years after the museum was established. It is only in the modern age that there has been a concerted effort to develop museums of the Jewish cultural heritage with far-ranging collections to reflect the 4,000 year history of the Jewish people and Jewish life as it evolved in many lands among many different peoples. Beginning in the 1890s,   the formation of Jewish museums in Europe, the United States, and in Ereẓ Israel reflected the phenomenon in Europe of the creation of public museums that began a century earlier and specifically the establishment of ethnographic collections in the mid-19th century. Prior to that time, collecting was the provenance of the nobility and the wealthy. While private wealth did enable some individuals to form collections of Jewish art, in the period before World War I, with increasing secularization, demographic changes, and the rise of nationalism, there was a growing trend to mobilize community preservation efforts and to raise public awareness of the importance of sustaining cultural heritage. Jewish art activities in Europe continued to thrive in Europe even after the Russian Revolution and World War I and heroically persisted even as the Nazis came to power. In the decades following the Holocaust, there was some limited activity in Europe, but the major mantle of scholarship in the field of Jewish art became the responsibility of Jewish communities in the United States and in Israel. After the Six-Day War in 1967, there was a tremendous upsurge in interest in Jewish life and culture. In America, this occurrence paralleled a focus on ethnicity which significantly impacted American life. Since the late 1970s the most profound aspect of the emphasis on history as memory has been the building of hundreds of Holocaust museums and memorials worldwide. The effort to preserve local Jewish history has been a major impetus to establish Jewish museums in communities across the globe by restoring historic synagogues, in many cases where few Jews remain. Perhaps most astonishing is the revival of Jewish museums in Europe even where the Jewish community was largely destroyed during the Holocaust. By the 1950s Jewish museums had been established or reopened in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Scandinavia, France, and Belgium. With the collapse of communism in the late 1980s, Jewish museums, many in restored synagogues and other former Jewish communal buildings, have been created in the former East Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine. Several collections thought to have been plundered during World War II have been brought to light. An ironic consequence of the loss of cultural artifacts during the Holocaust, is the development of contemporary genizah projects, the search for once discarded and hidden Judaica in Europe. The efforts of the Hidden Legacy Foundation in London and the Jewish Museum in Prague for example, have led to the discovery in genizot buried artifacts of a number of communities in Germany and Czechoslovakia. While these documents, sacred texts, and ritual objects were buried because they were outworn or no longer usable, their conservation has now become necessary because of the dire fate of the locations in which they were placed for safekeeping and the destruction of the communities that cared for them. Over 20 countries with representation of several dozen museums are members of the Association of European Jewish Museums (AEFM), an important forum for new plans and developments. The association was established to promote the study of European Jewish history and seeks to protect and preserve Jewish sites and the Jewish cultural heritage in Europe. The Association of European Jewish Museums, the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM), which represents over 80 institutional and associate members, along with representatives of the vast network of museums in Israel, and colleagues worldwide – from Australia to South Africa, from Chile to China – seek more and more ways to work in partnership to preserve and interpret the Jewish cultural heritage. -Western Europe and the Mediterranean Rim Isaac Strauss (1806–1888), conductor of the orchestra at the Paris Opera and for Napoleon III, was an avid art collector and purchased Judaica during his extensive travels. The first public display of Jewish ceremonial art was an exhibition of his collection at the Exposition Universelle at the Palais de Trocadéro in Paris in 1878. The Strauss Collection was purchased in 1890 by Baronne Charlotte, wife of Nathaniel de Rothschild, given to the State, and housed at the Musée de Cluny. The Strauss collection was fortuitously spared during World War II. The Strauss Collection was given a new home in 1999 when the Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme opened in Paris in the magnificent restored 17th-century Hôtel de Saint-Aignan in the Marais quarter. The new museum is a successor to the Musée d'Art Juif which was founded in 1948 and acquired its collections. The grandchildren of Captain alfred dreyfus (1859–1935) gifted the museum with the archives, numbering over 3,000 items, that chronicle the "Dreyfus Affair" – the accusation of treason, his court-martial, conviction, imprisonment, and finally exoneration in 1904 – which revealed the persistence of antisemitism in France and became an international issue. The museum also has a long-term loan of ceremonial objects from the Consistory of Paris, never before seen by the general public. Paris was also the home of the oldest Jewish national historical society, the Société des Études Juives, founded in 1880. On the eve of the French Revolution, Alsace was home to more than half of French Jewry. When the decree of emancipation in 1791 gave Jews full citizenship and the right to practice any trade, many Jews left the rural communities. In 1905, the Société d'Histoire des Israélites d'Alsace et de Lorraine was established to preserve traditional folkways. Headed by Rabbi Moise Ginsburger and Charlés Levy, the society collected objects and recorded oral traditions. These were deposited in the Musée Alsacien in Strasbourg specifically created to preserve the distinctive regional folk culture. In recent years, there has been an upsurge in documentation of Jewish life in Alsace. Over 200 sites are on record, a number of which have already been restored and now are home to Jewish museums including in Bischheim, Bouxwiller, Colmar, and Marmoutier. Two 18th-century synagogues in Carpentras and Cavaillon in Comtat Venaissan, formerly an area where Jews were given protection by the popes of Avignon, have also been preserved.   The first attempt to create a Jewish museum in Belgium dates to 1932, but it was not successful. The 1981 exhibition, "150 years of Belgium Jewish Life," held at the Brussels town hall was the impetus for establishing the Pro Museo Judaico. The Jewish Museum in Brussels opened in 1990 and in 2004 moved to a building donated by the Belgian government. The Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition presented at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1887 was the first major exposition organized to further interest in the historic preservation of Judaic art and artifacts. Plans for the exhibition grew out of the attempt to establish an Anglo-Jewish historical society and motivated by the threatened demolition of the Bevis Marks Synagogue, a landmark since its dedication in 1701. The exhibition was spearheaded by Lucien Wolf (1857–1930), a historian and publicist, and Alfred A. Newman (1851–1887), a collector of Anglo-Jewish books, pamphlets, and portraits, and guided by Sir Isidore Spielmann (1854–1925), an organizer of art exhibitions. Some 2,500 items were displayed, including ceremonial objects, antiquities, paintings, prints, documents and books on loan from some 345 lenders, both individuals and institutions and included the Strauss collection from Paris. Another important collection was that of Reuben D. Sassoon (1835–1905), largely purchased from Philip Salomons (1796–1867), the brother of sir david salomons , the first Jew to serve as lord mayor of London. A diverse, ecumenical general committee participated in the planning of the exhibition and related public programs. This inclusion reflects a political agenda that factored in the rescue and preservation of the cultural artifacts of the Jewish people. In England, as elsewhere in Europe and in the United States, an underlying aim was to dispel age-old prejudices and stereotypes and to increase awareness of the contributions made by Jews and the Jewish community to society at large. The Anglo-Jewish Historical Society was formed in 1893. The London Jewish Museum was established in 1932, an effort spearheaded by historian cecil roth (1899–1970) and wilfred samuel (1886–1958). The Jewish Museum is considered the National Collection of Judaica. Important early collections include objects from the Arthur Howitt collection purchased in 1932, the Kahn Collection of 18th-century textiles, and the Franklin Collection of ceremonial silver. For many years, the collection was housed in the Library of the Jews' college at Woburn House in Tavistock Square, along with the main institutions of the Jewish community. Since 1995, the museum has been located in the Raymond Burton House in Camden, a restored 1844 building. Today, the London Jewish Museum also encompasses the London Museum of Jewish Life founded in 1983 to focus on the more recent history of Jewish life in Britain from the late 19th century to the present. The Ben-Uri Society was established in 1915. The founders, many of whom were Yiddish-speaking immigrants, aspired to develop a collection of fine arts that would demonstrate the significant contribution of Jewish artists. Today its collections represent the work of some 350 artists and is one of the most important of its type in Europe. In Manchester the Jewish Museum opened in 1984 in the former Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue built in 1874. The Irish Jewish Museum, dedicated in 1985, is housed in the now restored Walworth Road Synagogue, in the heart of what was once a Jewish neighborhood of Dublin. The collections represent Jewish communities in Belfast, Cork, Derry, Dublin, Limerick, and Waterford. The Jewish community in Italy was the very first in Western Europe, and only in Italy has there been continuous settlement since Jews first arrived during the era of the Roman Empire. Today few, if any, Jewish residents remain in many of the once thriving communities. A number of synagogues have been restored and often ceremonial objects, along with a history of the particular locale, are displayed. Rome is home to the largest Jewish community in Italy. The Jewish Museum in Rome is located in the Tempio Israelitico, built in 1904 in the area of the old demolished ghetto. The Jewish Museum in Florence is located in the historic 1882 Moorish revival style synagogue. Also in Tuscany, there is a Jewish museum in Livorno, and the Sienna synagogue has been restored. In Venice, all of the five synagogues in the area that was the ghetto have been preserved. Each represents one aspect of the community's diverse background, the richly appointed interiors epitomizing the greatness of Italian Jewish art. In nearby Padua, the museum is at the site of the last surviving synagogue, which dates back to 1548 and which was actually closed from 1893 until after World War II. The Jewish Museum in Bologna, located in the area of the former ghetto, and along with the synagogue of Modena and the Jewish museums of Soragna and Ferrara promote an awareness of the long, rich history of Jewish culture in the Emilia-Romagna region. In Piedmont, Jewish museums are found in the restored synagogues in Asti, Casale Monferrato, and Turin. There is also a Jewish Museum in Trieste. Jewish settlement in Spain also dates to the first centuries of the Roman Empire. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 was a major turning point in the history of the Jewish people, and it was not until the second half of the 19th century that Jews returned. The Museo Sefardi in Toledo, Spain established in 1964 which is now located in the restored El Tránsito Synagogue, built between 1336 and 1357 by Samuel ha-Levi, who held several important posts in the court of King Pedro I of Castilla. Fortunately, in 1877, the building, which had been used as a hospital and later a church, was declared a National Monument. Preservation was begun by the government and completed under the auspices of the Museo Sefardi. A museum has also been formed in Girona in conjunction with the Nahmanides Institute for Jewish Studies. Following the expulsion from Spain some 150,000 Jews fled to Portugal. But it was not to be a safe haven and in 1497 Jews were forced to leave. The oldest existing synagogue in Portugal was built in 1438 in Tomar. Classified as a national monument in 1921, it was donated to the state in 1939 for use as a museum. Today it houses the Abraham Zacuto Luso Jewish Museum.   The Joodsch Historisch Museum (Jewish Historical Museum) in Amsterdam, founded in 1931 was re-opened in its original home in the medieval Waagebouw (Weigh-House) in 1955. Eighty percent of its collection was lost during the war; the rest was recovered in Germany. In 1974, the Amsterdam City Council, which then held title to the buildings, voted that the abandoned Ashkenazi Synagogue complex should become the new home of the Jewish Historical Museum. Four historic synagogues, two of which were built in the 17th century and two in the 18th, were restored and physically linked to form the museum. The buildings had been badly damaged in the war, and the replacement elements are all of contemporary design, symbolically serving as a reminder of what has been lost. The effort to establish a Jewish museum in Denmark was launched in 1985. The museum opened in 2003, in what was the Royal Boat House, built by King Christian IV at the turn of the 17th century. The choice of this site is significant because it was at the invitation of King Christian that Jews were fist invited to settle in Scandinavia. Noted architect daniel libeskind transformed the historic space for use as the Jewish museum using the concept of mitzvah for the overall matrix of his plan. The Jewish Museum in Basle exhibits objects and documents related to the history of the Jewish community in Switzerland. Basle was the site of the First Zionist Congress in 1897 and documents and mementos from the Congress are on display. A group of tombstones from the 13th century are installed in the courtyard. The Jewish Museum in Stockholm, was founded in 1987. In 1999, it was accorded the status of a national museum by the Swedish government. In Norway, the Jewish Museum in Trondheim opened in 1997 in the main building of the former railway station, built in 1864, which was converted for use as a synagogue in 1925 and rededicated after World War II. The Jewish Museum of Greece in Athens was founded in 1977 by Nikos Stavroulakis, who was also the founding director of the Jewish Museum in Thessaloniki in 2000. In addition to collecting archives and artifacts of the two-millennia-old Jewish heritage in Greece, both museums have undertaken the recording and photographing of Jewish monuments, synagogues, and cemeteries endangered because nearly 90 percent of the Jewish population perished during the Holocaust. The Jewish Museum of Rhodes was founded in 1997 and is located adjacent to the Kahal Shalom Synagogue built in 1577. The Jewish community in Turkey also traces its roots to antiquity. The Jewish Museum in Istanbul, housed in the historic Zülfaris Synagogue, was founded in 2001 by the Quincentennial Foundation, which commemorates the 500th anniversary of the 1492 expulsion of the Jews from Spain and the welcome to the Ottoman Empire. The Jewish Museum is the first to be established in a predominantly Muslim country. The vast majority of Moroccan Jews left for Israel, France, and the United States after 1948. The Jewish Museum in Casablanca, Morocco, preserves and records the long history of Jewish life in Morocco and has been involved in the restoration of synagogues. -Central and Eastern Europe Beginning with a study group in Vienna established in 1895, there was a proliferation of societies in Europe dedicated to the furtherance of Jewish art, which was a consequence of the growing awareness of issues of Jewish identity in the face of modern life. The Gesellschaft fuer Sammlung und Konservierung von Kunst und historischen Denkmälern des Judentums (Society for the Collection and Conservation of Jewish Art and Historic Monuments) also established the first Jewish museum. About 20,000 objects and 30,000 books were recovered in 1945 and returned to the Jewish community. In the 1960s there was a short-lived effort at re-opening the museum. In 1990, the city of Vienna founded a new Jewish Museum, which opened in 1993. The Museum Judenplatz Vienna was inaugurated in 2000 along with a Holocaust memorial designed by Rachel Whiteread. The museum, entered through a 500-year-old Jewish community building still active today, preserves the remains of a newly discovered 13th-century synagogue. The home of samson wertheimer (1658–1724), court Jew to Emperor Leopold I, in Eisenstadt today houses the Austrian Jewish Museum that opened in 1982. An earlier Jewish museum that was founded by Sándor Wolf (1871–1946) in the 1930s was plundered during World War II. Samson Wertheimer, who was also a rabbi, had a private synagogue in his home. His schul, one of the few Jewish places of worship not destroyed during the Holocaust, was rededicated in 1979. A Jewish museum in Hohenems is located in the historic Heimann-Rosenthal villa which dates to 1864 and focuses on salomon sulzer (1804–1890), renowned composer of Jewish music. Alexander David (1687–1765), a Court Jew from Braunschweig, formed the earliest known collection of Judaica originating with the ceremonial objects used in his private synagogue. In 1747, the private synagogue became a community house of prayer and was maintained as such until 1875. Today, David's collection forms the core of the Judaica department of the Braunschweig Landesmuseum in Germany. In Frankfurt-am-Main, a Catholic art historian and director of the Duesseldorf Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Applied Art), Heinrich Frauberger (1845–1920), formed the Gesellschaft zur Erforschung Juedischer Kunstdenkmaeler (Society for the Research of Jewish Art Objects) in 1901. The Frankfurt Jewish Museum, established in 1922, was destroyed on kristallnacht , the Night of the Broken Glass, Nov. 9, 1938, and was reopened in 1988 in the former Rothschild Palais on the 50th anniversary of the infamous pogrom that began the massive destruction by the Nazis of Jewish homes, businesses, and cultural and religious institutions. Frauberger also formed a collection of Jewish art. In 1908, he curated the first exhibition in Germany of Jewish ceremonial objects at the Duesseldorf Kunstgewerbemuseum. Frauberger later sold his collection to Salli Kirschstein (1869–1935), a successful Berlin businessman. In addition to the influence of Frauberger and the Frankfurt group, Salli Kirschstein's collection also reflects the work of max grunwald (1871–1953), who had issued a   call in Hamburg in 1896 to establish a Museum fuer juedische Volkskunde, which aimed to study Jewish folklore studies as a means for Jews to represent what they shared in common with other peoples. A Jewish museum was subsequently established in Hamburg prior to World War I. Today, the Hamburg Historical Museum maintains Judaica department. salli kirschstein established a private museum in his Berlin home to educate Jews and non-Jews alike through the material evidence of Jewish culture. In particular this was his response to the absence of any representation of Jewish life in the Arts and Crafts and Ethnology Museum in Berlin. Kirschstein's encyclopedic approach to collecting including ceremonial objects, fine arts, manuscripts and rare books as well as historic documents would later serve as a paradigm for other Jewish museums. There were other initiatives to bring Jewish art to Berlin. The first exhibition of the work of Jewish artists sponsored by the Verein zur Foederung juedischer Kunst (Society for the Furthering of Jewish Art) was held in Berlin in 1908. Another effort at establishing a Jewish Museum in Berlin was based on the art collection of Albert Wolf (1841–1907). In 1917, the collection was displayed in the community administration building adjacent to the historic Neue Synagog on Oranienburgerstrasse. Lack of funding, and a theft in 1923, left the community collection in compromised straits. A new society to support a Jewish Museum in Berlin was established in 1924, with Salli Kirschstein as a participant. However, his collection never became the nucleus of the expanded effort. In 1926, Kirschstein sold his collection numbering over 6,000 items to the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States. A second group of objects he collected was sold at auction in 1932. Fifteen of them became part of the collection of the Jewish Museum in Berlin which was, at long last, dedicated on January 24, 1933, just six days before the Nazis came to power. The Nazis closed the museum in 1938 and Allied bombing heavily damaged the Oranienburgerstrasse Synagogue. When the city became divided, the synagogue was in the eastern sector. A change in government policy precipitated by the declining fortunes of communism led to the decision in 1988 to create the Stiftung Centrum Judaicum-Neue Synagoge, which established a memorial and cultural center in the synagogue. In West Berlin, a Jewish Department of the Berlin City Museum, which was located in the Kollegienhaus, a former Baroque Prussian courthouse, was established in the early 1970s. In 1989, Daniel Libeskind's design won a competition for what was officially the "Expansion of the Berlin Museum with a Jewish-Museum Section." The striking post-modern building became a destination in its own right and was visited by a quarter of a million people during a year and a half period after the building was completed in 1999 before closing to install the exhibitions. The Jewish Museum Berlin opened officially on September 8, 2001. Among its creators were two men exiled from Berlin by the Nazis: Michael Blumenthal and Jeshajahu Weinberg, In the interwar period, Jewish museums were also established in Kassel, Munich, and Mainz. Theodor Harbinger conducted a survey for the Center for Collecting Jewish Art in Bavaria in Munich under the auspices of the Verband Bayerishcher Israelitischer Gemeinden. Plans are in the works for a new Jewish museum to be built in Munich in a complex that will also include a synagogue and community center. In Mainz the museum was formed by the Verein zur Pflege Juedischer Altertuemer in Mainz where in 1931 there was a landmark convention of Jewish art historians, collectors, and curators who met to discuss collaborating on developing a unified methodology of cataloging, photographing and exhibiting collections of Jewish art. From the mid-1980s and especially since the reunification of Germany, numerous Jewish museums have been established and nearly 100 synagogues have been restored, many of them with exhibitions. The Jewish Museum of Franconia has three sites: in Fuerth, in the former home of the Court Jew family Fromm, built in 1702; in Schnaittach, in a synagogue built in 1570; and in Schwabach, where a painted sukkah was found in a house on Synagogengasse. The Jewish Museum in Augsburg is in a restored synagogue – originally dedicated in 1917, it was badly damaged in 1938 and restored in 1985. In 1982, the former wedding hall of the Jewish quarter of Worms located next to the destroyed Romanesque synagogue became the home of Rashi House, a Jewish museum and archive named in honor of the leading commentator of the Bible Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac (rashi ; 1040–1105). Others are to be found in Baisingen, Essen, Groebzig, Halberstadt, Ichenhausen, Rendsburg, and Veitshoechheim. The site of Jewish Museum Creglingen was a Jewish property from 1618 which was restored to Jewish ownership in 1998 by a descendant of the original owner. In Prague, salomon hugo lieben (1881–1942), a historian, galvanized efforts to collect Judaica when urban renewal threatened the demolition of several historic synagogues. He founded the Verein zur Gruendung und Erhaltung eines juedisches Museums in Prag (Organization for the founding and Maintenance of a Jewish Museum in Prague). Lieben's efforts to preserve the Jewish cultural heritage of Bohemia and Moravia extended to rural villages as well. In 1926, the growing collection was moved into the former Ceremonial Hall of the Prague Hevra Kaddisha, the burial society, which is still used as an exhibit space for the museum. Lieben headed the museum until 1938. During World War II the Prague synagogues and the museum were used as storehouses for confiscated Jewish property from Bohemia and Moravia. Ironically, a plan for preservation of the property in order to care for and promote the unique heritage of Jewish culture suggested by Dr. Karel Stein (1906–1961) led to the establishment of a Central Jewish Museum in Prague. The plan was accepted by the Nazis for a very different reason – they wanted to create a perfect storehouse – a resource for the study of the Jewish people from which future exhibitions could be developed. They presumed that the Jewish "race," as they termed it, would be extinct. At the end of the war, the collection which numbered 1,000 objects in 1939, had over 100,000 catalog cards recording   information about the over 200,000 objects, books, and archives handled by the museum staff. The museum, under the aegis of the Prague Jewish Community Council, renewed its work focusing on efforts to return property to individuals and to any re-established Jewish communities. However, by 1949, the council determined it could no longer maintain the historic buildings in Prague’s Jewish Quarter or the museum collections. In April 1950 the Prague Jewish Museum was taken over by the state and placed under the control of the Ministry of Education. Finally, in October 1994, five years after the fall of the Communist government, the museum was returned to the Federation of Jewish communities of the Czech Republic. In addition to the former ceremonial hall of the Prague burial society, the exhibits are housed in five historic synagogues. Across Bohemia and Moravia, with the leadership of the Jewish Museum in Prague, sites are being researched, reclaimed, and preserved. A number of restored synagogues, some of which serve other functions such as concert halls, also have museums including in Boskovice, Decín, Holešov, Kolin, Mikulov-Nikolsburg, Plzeň, Polná, Rakovnik, Rychnov, Slavkov-Austerlitz, and Trěbíč. In the Slovak Republic the Museum of Jewish Culture in Slovakia was established in 1991 Bratislava as part of the Slovak National Museum. The Jewish Museum Prešov housed in the restored 1898 synagogue is seen as the successor to the museum organized in 1928 by Rabbi Theodore Austerlitz and Eugen Bárkány. That collection was among those sent to Prague during the war and when returned became part of the Bratislava collection. The Jewish museum in Budapest was founded in 1910 and officially opened in 1916. In 1932, under the direction of Erno Naményi (d. 1958), the museum, which had fallen on hard times, reopened in a building attached to the famed Dohány Synagogue. During the war, the most important of the museum’s objects were crated and hidden in the basement of the Hungarian National Museum, fortunately these were returned in good order. After the war, Naményi and others worked to restore the museum. The museum was reopened in 1947, but the next years would be difficult. Ilona Benoschofsky, director for two decades from 1963, with the expertise of renowned manuscript scholar Alexander Scheiber catalogued the collection. The museum underwent a major renovation in the 1990s. The Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade, Serbia, was established in 1948 and since 1969 has been housed in the Federation of Jewish Communities building. The collection includes many objects saved during World War II and later returned to Jewish hands and the archives document many destroyed Jewish communities. Marking the 400th anniversary of Sephardi settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a museum of the history of the Jews was opened in Sarajevo in 1965 in the synagogue built in 1580. Closed during the Bosnian War, the museum has not reopened. The famed Sarajevo Haggadah was put on display in the National Museum in 2002. The Jewish Museum in Sofia, Bulgaria is located adjacent to the Sofia Central Synagogue. In Dubrovnik, Croatia a museum was established in the 17th-century Kahal Adat Yisrael Synagogue which was restored and rededicated in 1997. In Bucharest, the Museum of the Jewish Community in Romania opened in the former Great Synagogue in 1992. The demographics of the Jewish world rapidly shifted with the onset of a wave of pogroms in Eastern Europe beginning in 1881 following the assassination of Czar Alexander II. No longer willing to endure the poverty and degradation, over two million Jews left Eastern Europe and moved westward, with the United States, and the promise of economic opportunity and religious and political freedom, the chosen destination of the majority of them. Even as many were leaving there were already profound changes taking place within Jewish society, as many Jews had begun to abandon traditional Judaism as they sought a more modern way of life. Simon Dubnow (1860–1941) issued what was the earliest appeal to recognize the importance of the historical documents and other cultural artifacts of the Jews of Eastern Europe. The rapid changes in Jewish life also motivated the well-known author S. An-Ski (Solomon Zainwil Rapoport, 1863–1920) to organize an expedition to collect documents, ceremonial objects, and ethnographic artifacts and to gather folktales and songs. An-Ski's motivation was the idealistic belief that the materials collected would provide a source for a Jewish cultural renaissance. The collecting efforts went on from 1912 to 1914 throughout the Ukraine, Podolia, and Volhynia. Even during the war, An-Ski, dressed as a Russian officer and working with the Red Cross, continued to salvage what he could from destroyed Jewish villages on the Galician front. The An-Ski collection was deposited in the State Ethnographic Museum in St. Petersburg. There is now also a Jewish Museum in St. Petersburg which sees its work as being in the tradition of An-Ski and of the first Jewish museum which closed in 1929. An-Ski escaped from Russia in 1918 and made his way to Vilna. Though in poor health, he re-established the museum founded by the Society of Lovers of Jewish Antiquity in 1913, its collection having been destroyed during the war. yivo , the Yidisher Visenshaftlikher Institute (Institute for Jewish Research) founded in Berlin in 1925, with Vilna selected to be the central site of the new organization, became the most important center for research on Eastern European Jewish art and ethnography. In 1939 max weinreich (1894–1969), co-founder and guiding light of YIVO, was on a lecture tour in Finland when the Germans invaded Poland. He made his way to New York and immediately began to work to keep YIVO active. Fortunately, a large portion of the collection of books, manuscripts, and archival items looted by the Germans was recovered after the war and transferred to YIVO's new home in New York. During the war, Herman Kruk (1897–1944) led a heroic effort of cultural resistance by maintaining a library in the ghetto and collecting ceremonial objects, artwork, and other cultural artifacts belonging to deported Jews and in abandoned Jewish institutions. Aware that the Nazis were on to   their plan Kruk and a few assistants known as the "Paper Brigade" attempted to hide rare books and documents. Two survivors of the Paper brigade, Abraham Sutzkever and Smerke Kaczerginski, returned to Vilna in July 1944 with the Soviet army liberating the city. Little remained, but they determined to reopen the Jewish museum. Beset with difficulties from the authorities, the museum staff shipped out what they could from Soviet Vilnius. The museum was shut down in 1948. After the breakup of the former Soviet Union, YIVO documents were discovered in Vilnius in a church used by the Lithuanian national library for storage. Though not returned to YIVO, a compromise was reached and the documents were sent to New York to be microfilmed then sent back to Vilnius. In 1989, a new Jewish museum was established in Vilnius as the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum. On October 3, 2000, the Lithuanian Parliament voted to return 300 scrolls from the holdings of the National Library to the Jewish people. In January 2002, a delegation from Israel led by then Ashkenazi chief rabbi israel meir lau , himself a survivor, traveled to Vilnius to bring the scrolls to Israel. YIVO now a partner in the Center for Jewish History which opened in New York in the spring of 2000 expanded its scope of work after the move to New York, with the scholarly mission adding a focus on the influence of East European Jewish culture as it has developed in the Americas. Another group of objects rediscovered in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union were artifacts from the private collection of Maksymilian Goldstein (1880–1942) and which, along with the contents of the Lvov (Lviv) Jewish Community Museum, were feared to have been destroyed or lost during World War II. Today the collection is housed in the Ukrainian Museum of Ethnography and Artistic Crafts. Goldstein had placed his collection with the museum after the German occupation 1942. Though the movement to form a collection in Lvov had been spearheaded by Goldstein, there was interest in the general community to form such a collection. The nationalist impulse was a major factor, and indeed, Jewish objects had already been displayed at the Municipal Museum as early as 1894 as part of a regional exhibition. A Jewish museum established by the Jewish Cultural League in Kiev in 1920 existed for about a decade and another in Odessa, also closed in the 1930s. Plundered by the Nazis, the Odessa collection was removed to Germany and was discovered in Bavaria by British forces after the war. The Museum of the History of Odessa's Jews opened in 2002 during an international conference. Other Jewish Museums in the Ukraine are located in Nikolaev, Simferopol, and Sevastopol. In Belarus, the Marc Chagall Museum, opened in the artist's boyhood home in Vitebsk in 1992. In Riga, the Museum of the Jews in Latvia is housed in the Jewish Community Center and highlights many important Jewish personalities from Latvia, including R. Abraham Kook , the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine during the period of the British Mandate. With the political change in Russia, there even are now plans to develop a major Jewish museum in Moscow to be located in a former bus depot donated by the government. In Poland, Matthias Bersohn (1823–1908) spearheaded the effort to establish a Jewish museum in Warsaw. Bersohn also contributed to ethnographic and folklore studies with his photographic survey of wooden synagogues in Poland. The museum in Warsaw which opened in 1910 was founded with his bequest. The museum was destroyed during the bombardment of Warsaw in 1939. The Museum of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw began its activities in 1948, the first museum to collect artifacts of the Jewish cultural heritage in the postwar period. In the early 21st century building plans were underway for a new museum. Bersohn's survey was expanded through the efforts of Majer Balaban (1877–1942), a Lvov native and historian of Polish Jewry who photographed Jewish landmarks, life, and artifacts. In Krakow in 1935, Balaban encouraged the creation of a Jewish museum to preserve the many treasures of the large synagogues, the Stara Synagoga, the Rema Synagogue, and the Hoyche Schul. During the war the collection was plundered and the Stara Synagoga was used as a warehouse by the Nazis. Restored after the war, since 1958 the synagogue has housed a Museum of Jewish History and Culture as a branch of the Krakow History Museum. A Jewish museum was established in Breslau (now Wroclaw) in 1929, also by a Society of friends, the Verein Juedisches Museum Breslau. In Danzig (Gdansk, Poland, since 1945) a museum was founded in the Great Synagogue in 1904 when Lesser Gieldzinski (1830–1910) presented his private collection of Judaica to the synagogue to commemorate his 75th birthday. In 1939, the Gieldzinski Collection, along with the ceremonial objects of the Great Synagogue of Danzig, was sent to the Jewish Museum in New York. An agreement stipulated that if after 15 years there were no safe and free Jews in Danzig the objects were to remain in America for the education and inspiration of the rest of the world. (Grace Cohen Grossman (2nd ed.) -Ereẓ Israel The history of Jewish museums in Ereẓ Israel began with the efforts of boris schatz , who founded the bezalel school for Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem. The Lithuanian-born Schatz (1866–1932) trained in Paris and in 1895 became court sculptor to Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria. In a meeting with Theodor Herzl in 1903 Schatz proposed his vision for an art school that meshed with Zionist ideology. He chose the name of the biblical artist Bezalel as a symbol of the continuity of art in Jewish life. Schatz expressed that his mission was for a Jewish art to come into being which would weave together the cultural threads that had been pulled apart and damaged during the 2,000 years of the Diaspora experience. His idealism was tempered with reality for he planned for the students to learn crafts, which could be sold to help support the school. In the wake of Herzl's untimely death at age 44 in 1904, Schatz sought the backing of various Zionist institutions. His proposal was officially accepted at the 1905 Zionist Congress and the school was launched a year later. The Bezalel Museum was founded   soon thereafter. By 1910, Bezalel had 32 different departments, over 500 students and a ready market for its works in Jewish communities in Europe and the United States. The school was closed during World War I and again after Schatz passed away in 1932. The museum was incorporated into the israel museum when it opened in 1964 as the national museum (see below). The Bezalel Academy of Art and Design remains as a premier art school today. From its beginnings in the mid-19th century archaeologists have actively explored the land of Israel seeking evidence of the rich heritage of cultures and civilizations of the peoples who have played a part in shaping its history. Some 15,000 archaeological sites are currently known and new ones are discovered all the time. Though of course many date well before the period of the Israelites and span in time to much later settlers, the sense of being enveloped by history is all-encompassing. Numerous excavation sites have become archaeological parks. It is perhaps emblematic of how deeply museums are en-twined with history that David Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of the State of Israel in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Independence Hall is located in what was originally the home of meir dizengoff , first mayor of Tel Aviv. Dizengoff gave it to the city for the creation of an art museum. With its rich collections of modern paintings, sculpture, and graphic art, and its many visiting exhibits, the museum was housed in a new building in 1971. Founded in 1932, it expanded with the addition of the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion in 1958. The complex Ha-Areẓ ("Homeland") Museum started with nine separate pavilions: museums for glass, ceramics, numismatics, ethnography and folklore, science and technology (including a planetarium), antiquities of Jaffa and Tel Aviv, the history of Tel Aviv, the alphabet, and Tel Qasile excavations. There are also ten other museums in Tel Aviv, including a Museum of Man and his Work, the Haganah, and the Jabotinsky Museum. The Israel Museum, situated in the heart of modern Jerusalem, houses a collection of Jewish and world art, the archaeology of the Holy Land, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The museum was founded to collect, preserve, study, and display the cultural and artistic treasures of the Jewish people throughout its long history as well as the art, ethnology, and archeology of the Land of Israel and its neighboring countries. It also aims at encouraging original Israeli art. The exhibition area totaled 17,000 sq. m. (about 20,500 sq. yd.) with an additional 19,000 sq. m. (about 23,000 sq. yd.) for storage, laboratories, workshops, a library, and offices, including those of the Israel government Department of Antiquities. The museum includes the Billy Rose Art Garden and the Shrine of the Book. The Haifa municipality administers museums of ancient and modern art, a maritime museum, and the "Dagon," a grain museum showing the cultivation and storage of grain through the ages. No section of the country is without its regional and local museums, most of them created and maintained to satisfy the intense interest of the people in their past. In the north, beth-shean , the ancient fortress city guarding the road from the east, displays a collection of archaeological finds and mosaics from the town and its environs; at the nearby kibbutz nir david is a museum of Mediterranean archaeology. The Mishkan le-Ommanut, the art museum at kibbutz en-harod , the first rural museum in the country, started in 1933. The object of this museum is to collect Jewish art, and it has already a rich collection of Jewish painting, sculpture, and Jewish folk art from all over the world. Beit Sturman at En-Harod exhibits the history and archaeology of the region. Wilfred Israel House, at kibbutz Ha-Zore'a , exhibits artistic objects from the Far East and archaeological finds from the village fields; Bet Ussishkin, in kibbutz dan , is both a natural history museum for the Ḥuleh region and the site museum for the excavations at nearby Tel Dan. There are museums at Ḥanitah and sasa in Upper Galilee, Tiberias and Nazareth in Lower Galilee, Ayyelet ha-Shaḥar by ancient Ḥazor , Bet She'arim , close to the Jewish necropolis of the talmudic period, and megiddo with its imposing mound. The coastal region is represented by municipal museums in acre , site museums in sedot yam showing the antiquities of caesarea , and Ma'agan Mikha'el showing objects found in the sea; the regional museum at Midreshet Ruppin in Hefer Plain exemplifies the local flora and fauna, as well as the history of the area's modern villages and their ancient sites. In the Negev, Beersheba has an archaeological museum; the kibbutzim Gevulot, Kissufim, Mishmar ha-Negev, and Nirim have their own collections; the site museums of Masadah, En-Gedi, Arad, and Avedat exhibit representative collections of the finds; eilat has a museum of modern art, as well as a maritime museum. Since 1948, museums have flourished throughout Israel and today number over 150. Among them are numerous museums devoted to topics of Jewish and Israeli history, Jewish art, ceremonial art, ethnography and folklore. Important collections have been developed reflecting the ingathering to Israel of refugees from Europe and Arab Lands. An important development in recent years has been the focus on the vibrant legacies of communities like Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen and of Jews who lived under Ottoman rule. (Avraham Biran / Grace Cohen Grossman (2nd ed.) -The Americas UNITED STATES The oldest collection of Judaica in the United States was established in 1887 as part of a department of comparative religion at the Smithsonian Institution. The collection was acquired under the direction of cyrus adler (1863–1940), a young curator who had just completed his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University, the first to be awarded in the field of Semitics in the United States. Like his compatriots in England who organized the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition, Adler intended that the collection of Jewish ceremonial objects be used in educational exhibitions in order to counteract ignorance of Judaism and prejudice against Jews.   Adler was also a central figure in the founding of the American Jewish Historical Society in 1892 . The AJHS, which has the distinction of being the first ethnic historical organization in the United States, pioneered the collection of archives, books, and artifacts of American Jewry. In 1904, judge mayer sulzberger (1843–1923) presented the Jewish Theological Seminary Library in New York with a gift of 26 ceremonial objects to serve as the nucleus for a Jewish museum. Judge Sulzberger was a cousin of Cyrus Adler's, who by this time had become president of JTS in addition to his responsibilities at the Smithsonian. In 1925, Adler was responsible for the acquisition of the collection of Hadji Ephraim Benguiat (d. 1918), an antique dealer who amassed the earliest collection of Sephardic Jewish objects, which he brought to the United States in 1888 and which was displayed at the 1893 World's Fair and subsequently at the Smithsonian Institution. The ominous storm clouds gathering in Europe in the late 1930s brought two additional collections to the museum. The first, through the american jewish joint distribution committee , was the Danzig Collection. The second was the collection of Benjamin and Rose Mintz which they brought to the United States from Poland in 1939. The Mintz Collection was purchased by the museum in 1947. In 1947, the jewish museum moved to its own quarters in the former Warburg Mansion on Fifth Avenue. Stephen Kayser (1900–1988) and Guido Schoenberger (1891–1974), both distinguished art historians and émigrés from Nazi Germany, set a standard of leadership in exhibitions and collections development for nearly two decades. The collection would grow even more with the gift of 10,000 objects from museum supporter Harry G. Friedman (d. 1965), who began acquiring Judaica during the war years. The Jewish Cultural Reconstruction (JCR) was based at the Jewish Museum through 1952. In the aftermath of World War II, the JCR was the organization given the authority by the U.S. State Department to identify and redistribute Nazi looted Jewish ceremonial objects, archives, and books for which no heirs could be found that were located in the American Occupied Sector of Germany. salo w. baron (1895–1989), pre-eminent Jewish historian, spearheaded the campaign to form the JCR, which included representatives of all the major Jewish national and international organizations and served as its president. hannah arendt (1906–1979), political philosopher and author, was the executive secretary for day-to-day operations. A pioneering initiative was the establishment in 1956 of the Tobe Pascher Workshop for contemporary ceremonial art, whose founding director was Ludwig Wolpert (1900–1981), a German-trained silversmith who came from his home in Jerusalem to direct the workshop. Another was the annual commission by collectors of contemporary art, Albert and Vera List, to commission prominent American artists to make an original graphic for the museum for the Jewish New Year. From 1970, when Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson (1920–1994), archaeologist and philanthropist, became director, and during the tenure of her successor Joan Rosenbaum beginning in 1980, the museum has continued to actively develop its collections and to present a wide-ranging series of exhibitions and programs. In recent years, The Jewish Museum has focused on presenting a series of major art exhibitions. The JTS Library has maintained a large and important collection of illustrated manuscripts, illuminated ceremonial texts, and prints. A second Jewish Museum was founded at the Hebrew Union College Library in Cincinnati in 1913 through the impetus of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, whose members recognized the merit of saving family heirlooms. The HUC Librarian Adolph Oko (1883–1944) undertook to develop the museum by acquiring important collections in Europe. His crowning achievement was the purchase of the Salli Kirschstein collection in 1926. Unfortunately, the collections remained in storage for many years until the museum was officially reestablished in 1948 by then president Dr. Nelson Glueck (1900–1971), a pioneering biblical archaeologist who contributed to the museums growth by depositing artifacts from his excavation in Israel. Franz Landsberger (1883–1964), former director of the Berlin Jewish Museum, rescued through the displaced European Jewish Scholars program, became director of the museum and he was succeeded by joseph gutmann (1923–2004), who became one of the preeminent scholars in the field of Jewish art. In 1947, jacob rader marcus (1896–1995) established the American Jewish Archives at HUC, which now bears his name. The Union Museum was renamed the Skirball Museum when the collection was moved to Los Angeles in 1972. During a 30-year tenure as director, Nancy Berman fostered the growth of the collection with a focus on contemporary Judaica. In 1996, the museum opened in greatly expanded quarters in the new skirball cultural center . Exhibitions and related programs reflect the mission of the cultural center to explore the connections between 4,000 years of Jewish history and American democratic values. A branch of the Skirball Museum is in Cincinnati and the HUC Klau Library in Cincinnati maintains an important collection of visual arts. Established in 1983, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in New York presents exhibitions illuminating Jewish history, culture, and contemporary creativity. The Skirball Museum of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem exhibits archaeological artifacts discovered during the HUC-JIR excavations from 1963 to the present. Fortuitously some major synagogues saved historic commemorative artifacts as well as important ceremonial objects that later formed the basis of museum collections in those congregations. Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York established a collection in 1928 with the gift of the private collection of Henry Toch, a trustee, and dedicated the Herbert and Eileen Bernard Museum decades later in 1997. In the post-World War II era, new Jewish museums slowly began to be founded in the United States. While it took another generation before the American Jewish community focused efforts on creating Holocaust memorials and museums, in the aftermath of the destruction of the European Jewish community, there was a new sense of the importance for Jews in the United States   and in the new state of Israel to preserve Jewish culture. The first formally established synagogue museum, at Temple-Tifereth Israel in Cleveland, was dedicated in 1950 by the eminent rabbi abba hillel silver (1893–1963) in 1950 on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the congregation. The Leo Baeck Institute, dedicated to the history of German-speaking Jewry, was founded in New York in 1955. The B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Museum in Washington, DC, was founded in 1957. The core of its collection was the gift of Joseph B. and Olyn Horwitz of Cleveland. The Judah L. Magnes Museum is in Berkeley, California in 1962. The prime mover behind the founding of the museum and its director for more than 30 years was Seymour Fromer, who built the collection as a community-based endeavor, without the resources of a parent institution. The Spertus Museum of Judaica was created in Chicago in 1968 in large measure with the private collection of Maurice Spertus. Two additional Jewish museums were founded in the 1970s. The Yeshiva University Museum in New York was officially opened in 1973, but the university did maintain some collections of Jewish art in its library prior to that time. Sylvia Herskowitz was the director of the museum from its opening. The national museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia opened in 1976 in honor of the Bicentennial of the United States. The museum is located across Independence Mall from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It shares its site with Congregation Mikveh Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in America. In 1977, at a meeting of the Association of Jewish Studies, Dov Noy, professor of Jewish folklore of the Hebrew University, proposed that the U.S. Jewish museums form an organization to further the efforts of the museums to "collect, preserve, and interpret Jewish art and artifacts." The Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM), affiliated since 1980 with the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, has now grown to represent over 80 institutional and associate members. In the late 1970s planning began for the united states holocaust memorial museum in Washington, D.C. which opened in 1993. The USHMM serves as America's national institution for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history, and as the memorial of the United States to the millions of victims. Through its multifaceted programs, the museum's mission is "to advance and disseminate knowledge about this unprecedented tragedy; to preserve the memory of those who suffered; and to encourage its visitors to reflect upon the moral and spiritual questions raised by the events of the Holocaust as well as their own responsibilities as citizens of a democracy." The USHMM is a Federal institution. There are Holocaust memorials in communities throughout the United States and many Holocaust museums. the simon wiesenthal center , Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, which opened in 1993 is named in honor of the survivor and well-known Nazi hunter simon wiesenthal and is dedicated to the cause of human rights. The museum of jewish heritage : A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York opened in 1997. It is sited in view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and just five blocks form the former site of the World Trade Center. The museum was "created as a living memorial to the Holocaust" to honor the lives and legacy of the victims of the Holocaust even as it recounts the tragedy of their deaths. The tremendous growth in interest in preserving Jewishcultural heritage has reached communities large and small throughout the United States. An important aspect of the work of many of these museums is the focus on local and regional history. The Gomez Hill House, built in Marlboro, New York in 1714 by Luis Moses Gomez, a Sephardi immigrant, is the oldest surviving homestead in the country and a foundation to preserve it was established in 1979. Museums have been formed in a number of historically important synagogues. The Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, built in 1763, was the first prominent synagogue to be built in America, and is the only one to survive from the colonial era. The beginnings of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston, South Carolina can be traced to 1775. The temple and a museum are housed in an 1841 Greek Revival building that is the second oldest synagogue in the United States and the oldest in continuous use. The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is housed in the Adas Israel Synagogue dedicated in 1876. The Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives in Richmond, Virginia, maintains materials dating back to the 18th century. The Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore is unique in that it saved and restored two historic structures – the Lloyd Street Synagogue of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation built in 1845 and the original house of worship of the Chizuk Amuno Congregation which dates to 1876 – and incorporated them into a museum complex. The Eldridge Street Synagogue, completed in 1887, was the first designed and built in America by immigrants from Eastern Europe. The Vilna Shul, built in 1919, is now the Boston Center for Jewish Heritage. The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, now incorporated as part of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of the Southern Jewish Experience, was founded in 1986, through the initiative of Macy Hart to represent Jewish culture in the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee and is now endeavoring to cover all 12 states of the South. With changing demographics especially in rural communities and small towns, the Jewish population in them has dwindled or no longer exists. The collection in many ways serves as a rescue mission. In addition to collecting artifacts and archives, the museum provides planning assistance for congregations, works to save historic properties, and to care for untended cemeteries. The museum is also a genealogical center. The Jewish Museum of Florida in Miami Beach restored Congregation Beth Jacob, an art deco building dating from 1936. The museum originated as MOSAICb, a project organized by Marcia Kerstein Zerivitz, as a statewide grassroots preservation effort on the history of Jewish life in Florida. The Oregon Jewish Museum was founded in 1986 and in 1996 merged with the Jewish Historical Society of Oregon, acquiring its archives of 150 years of Jewish experience in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.   Numerous other Jewish museums have been established in synagogues and in Jewish community centers including: the Sylvia Plotkin Museum at Temple Beth Israel in Scottsdale, Arizona; the Elizabeth S. and Alvin I. Fine Museum of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco; the San Francisco Jewish Museum originated in 1982 at the Jewish Federation and is developing a major new site designed by Daniel Libeskind; the Gotthelf Gallery at the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture; the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture in Denver; the Chase/Freedman Gallery of the Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center; the Harold and Vivian Beck Museum of Judaica at the Beth David Congregation in Miami, Florida; the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, Georgia; the Rabbi Frank F. Rosenthal Memorial Museum at Temple Anshe Sholom in Olympia Fields, Illinois; the Kansas City Jewish Museum; the Goldsmith Museum at Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland; the Janice Charach Epstein Gallery at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, Michigan; the Temple Israel Judaic Archival Museum in West Bloomfield, Michigan; the Benjamin and Dr. Edgar R. Cofeld Judaica Museum of Temple Beth Zion; the Judaica Museum of the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale; the Judaica Museum of Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn, New York; Judaica Museum of Central Synagogue in New York City; Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum in New York City; the Rosenzweig Museum and the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina in Durham; the Sherwin Miller Museum at the Tulsa Jewish Community Center in Oklahoma; the American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh; Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art of Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia; Temple Judea Museum of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; Mollie and Louis Kaplan Judaica Museum at Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, Texas; Rabbi Joseph Baron Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A unique initiative was the creation of the national yiddish book center founded in 1980 to rescue Yiddish books. The center's headquarters in Amherst, Massachusetts, is described as a lively "cultural shtetl." The newest and most ambitious Jewish cultural entity to be established in the United States is the Center for Jewish History located in New York City which opened in 2000. The center houses the combined holdings of the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. The Center for Jewish History is the largest repository of Jewish artifacts, archives, and historical materials in the United States. Undoubtedly the brightest note in the Jewish museum world in the United States is the focus on special installations for children and the creation of independent Jewish children's museums including the Zimmer Children's Museum in Los Angeles, the Jewish Children's Museum in Brooklyn and the Jewish Children's Learning Lab in New York City. CANADA In Canada, the Beth Tzedec Reuben & Helene Dennis Museum in Toronto was established in 1965 with the purchase of Cecil Roth's collection. Roth, a pre-eminent scholar of Jewish history and founder of the London Jewish Museum, formed his collection over a 50-year period. Also in Toronto is the Silverman Heritage Museum, located at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. The Royal Ontario Museum maintains a gallery of Jewish ceremonial objects. Jewish historical societies document life in several cities across Canada in Alberta; Vancouver, British Columbia; Winnepeg, Manitoba; St. John, New Brunswick; and in Montreal, Quebec. LATIN AMERICA Several Jewish Museums are active in Latin America. In Argentina, the Museo Judio de Buenos Aires established in 1967 and re-opened in 2000 is located in the Congregación Israelite. It is dedicated to the Jewish historical contribution to the Argentine Republic. A museum dedicated to Jewish immigration is located in Moiséville. A museum is being planned in Cochambamba, Bolivia. The Jewish Museum in Rio de Janeiro was established in 1977. In Chile, there is the Sephardic Historical Museum in Santiago and in Valparaiso there is a Jewish museum and the Israelite Society of Education "Max Nordau." The Museo Historico Judio "Tuvie Maizel" is located in the Ashkenazi community headquarters in Mexico City. The Jewish Museum of Paraguay, established in 1990, is located in Asunción. In Venezuela, the Separdi Museum of Caracus "Morris E. Curiel" was founded in 1998. THE CARIBBEAN Mikvé Israel Emanuel Synagogue in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, was founded in 1651 and its current building, which dates to 1732 is the oldest continuously functioning congregation in the western hemisphere. The museum opened in 1970. The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas was established in 1796. The present building dates to 1833. The community celebrated its bicentennial in 1995 and the Weibel Museum was created to commemorate the history of the Jews in the community. Plans are underway to develop a Jewish museum in Kingston, Jamaica. -Australia In Melbourne, Australia Rabbi Ronald Lubofsky, London born and raised, initiated plans for a Jewish museum which was established in 1982. An important focus of the museum has been the acquisition of archives, art, and artifacts reflecting the 200 years of Jewish experience in Australia which "helps strengthen and define our identity as Jewish Australians." Originally housed at the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, the museum moved to new quarters opposite the stately 1927 St. Kilda Synagogue in 1995. The Sydney Jewish Museum established in 1992 is dedicated to the documenting and teaching about the Holocaust. -South Africa In Capetown, South Africa a new cultural and heritage center opened in 2000 and located on a site which over a century ago had served a growing immigrant population from Europe. Vivienne Anstey, who directed the effort to develop the new museum, wrote of the South African Jewish community that it   has "grappled with the responsibility of upholding moral and religious values aimed to serve the needs of its own community and the needs of South Africans in general. It has walked the tightrope in its integration in the South African context, at the same time dedicating itself to Jewish continuity." Adjacent to the new South Africa Jewish Museum is the Cape Town Holocaust Centre. There are also Jewish museums in Calvinia, in Malmesbury in the former synagogue, the C.P. Nel Museum in Oudtshoorn, the Jewish Pioneers' Museum in Port Elizabeth, and in Pretoria there is the Sammy Marks Museum, a historic house of this South African Jewish pioneer who immigrated from Lithuania in the mid-nineteenth century. -India The Paradesi Synagogue in Cochin, India was built in 1568 by descendants of Spanish, Dutch, and other European Jews. Though the synagogue is still functioning, the Cochin Jewish community intends to deed the synagogue to the Indian government as a historic monument when the last Jews have left Cochin. Restoration work on the synagogue was made possible by the Yad Hanadiv Foundation under the leadership of Jacob Lord Rothschild. There are several historic synagogues in Mumbai (Bombay) that are preserved including the Gate of Mercy Synagogue (Shaar Harachmim) built in 1796, Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, and the Tifereth Israel Synagogue. -China The Ohel Rachel Synagogue in Shanghai, China, built in 1920 by Sir Victor Sassoon is currently being renovated, although it is not yet in use again for worship services. Once a center of Jewish life for the 30,000 Jews who found refuge in Shanghai, first when fleeing the 1905 pogroms of Russia, and then from Nazi persecution, the synagogue was last used for services in 1952. The building was then confiscated by the Communist government. Attention was given to the preservation efforts when the synagogue was visited by then First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton in 1998. Ohel Rachel was added to the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in 2002. The Ohel Moishe Synagogue, the Jewish Refugee Memorial Hall of Shanghai, was the center of religious life for Jewish refugees during World War II. The museum was established in 2002. -Ongoing Endeavors The search for art and artifacts of the 4,000-year long Jewish experience continues and new finds are regularly being discovered. The most ambitious effort to document the visual culture of the Jewish people is the Index of Jewish Art of the Centre for Jewish Art established in 1980 at the Hebrew University. Founded by bezalel narkiss , the centre has ongoing research projects in Europe and in Israel, presents symposia on a wide-range of projects, maintains an active publications program, including the annual journal Jewish Art and organizes tours to Jewish sites. A center for the study of Jewish art has been created at Bar-Ilan University and has published its first journal. The International Survey of Jewish Monuments, spearheaded by Samuel Gruber in the United States, has been actively involved not only in identifying and studying historic Jewish sites in over 35 countries that are in need of preservation, but in spearheading efforts to undertake the needed work. The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation supports vital educational programs and community projects in Central and Eastern Europe with a special focus on developing schools and camps. The commitment on the part of the Lauder Foundation to "pick up the pieces of a history shattered by Nazism and stifled by Communism" includes preservation efforts as well. Ronald Lauder has also long chaired the Jewish Heritage Program of the World Monuments Fund. Centropa is a project of the Central Europe Center for Research and Documentation, with headquarters in Vienna. The vision of its director, photographer and filmmaker Edward Serotta, an international team works to explore both the history of the Jewish communities and what is currently happening to Jews in Central and Eastern Europe the former Soviet Union, and Turkey & the Balkans, to convey that information to the public through a variety of technologies. -Holocaust Memorials and Museums The importance of memory is central to all of the efforts in developing Jewish museums, but it is even more so in the dedication of Holocaust memorials and museums. It is a remarkable phenomenon that so many Holocaust memorials and museums have been established in recent years. In 1969, the American Jewish Congress published In Everlasting Remembrance: A Guide to Memorials and Monuments Honoring the Six Million. The slim booklet, only 48 pages in length, was compiled so that American Jews visiting Europe could visit the sites "where European Jewry suffered its catastrophe," the rationale being so that the American Jew could "remember as a witness, to recall the particulars of the Holocaust by (his) presence at the actual sites." At the time, there were but 20 listings. Of the 17 in Europe, most were at sites of ghettos and concentration camps, the Anne Frank House was listed for Amsterdam. Memorials in Brussels and London were only in the planning stages. In Israel, a documentation center and museum had opened in 1951 at kibbutz Lohamei ha-Getta'ot , at Ghetto Fighters House. yad vashem , the Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, was created by an Act of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) in 1953. In the United States, plans had just been developed for a memorial in New York City, designed by architect Louis Kahn, and sponsored by a coalition of more than 30 national and local Jewish organizations. The original Kahn design was never realized. Three decades later, the publication of the Association of Holocaust Organizations includes hundreds of listings. The mission of the Association is "to serve as a network of organizations and individuals for the advancement of Holocaust programming, awareness, education, and research." Today, around the world, millions of people visit Holocaust memorials and museums annually. The places of memory differ widely. As James Young wrote in his 1994 book The Art of Memory, "the reasons for Holocaust memorials and the kind of memory they generate vary as widely as the sites themselves.   Some are built in response to traditional Jewish injunctions to remember, others according to a government's need to explain a nation's past to itself." In 1993, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened in Washington, D.C., adjacent to the national mall and within view of monuments to U.S. Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson. During the 1990s with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany many more Holocaust memorials and museums have been created or are in the planning stages. Perhaps most symbolic among them, a Holocaust Memorial in Berlin is situated close by the restored Reichstag (parliament) under a law passed on the Tenth Anniversary of the Treaty of German Unity, the so called "Foundation for Remembrance, Responsibility and Future." (See also Holocaust: Museums .) (Grace Cohen Grossman (2nd ed.) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: G.C. Grossman, Jewish Museums of the World (2003); N. Folberg, And I Shall Dwell Among Them: Historic Synagogues of the World (1995); B.G. Frank, A Travel Guide to Jewish Europe (1996); R.E. Gruber, Jewish Heritage Travel Guide: A Guide to East-Central Europe (1999); S. Offe, Juedische Museen in Deutschland und Oesterreich (2000); N. Rosovsky and J. Ungerleider-Mayerson, Jewish Museums of Israel (1989); A. Sacerdoti (series ed.), Itinerari Ebraici (1992– ); J.E. Young, The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning (1993); M. Zaidner (ed.), Jewish Travel Guide (2003).

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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