Although I live in somewhat of a disconnect from my cultural heritage, my travels sometimes offer me the opportunity to reconnect. New York City, with its large Jewish population, has quite a few options for that to happen. Meeting my parents in New York last Christmas we were walking around the upper east side to visit a few arts museums and it turned out it’s an area with an abundance of Kosher restaurants and Jewish Temples. Also in the upper east side is the Jewish Museum of New York, arguably the largest of the Jewish museums in the states. We went in for a visit…

 

The Jewish Museum : New York City

 

There’s plenty to see, covering the long history of Judaism in brief highlights. I was glad to see that the museum went beyond the typical emphasis on the Holocaust to cover less known times of the Jewish people in more detail than most museums offer. It also hosts a large art collection from well known Jewish painters and artists.

 

The official website writes :

The concept of the institution, whose mission has been to preserve, study and interpret Jewish cultural history through the use of authentic art and artifacts, linking both Jews and non-Jews to a rich body of values and traditions. Today, The Jewish Museum’s permanent collection, which has grown to more than 26,000 objects — paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, ethnographic material, archaeological artifacts, numismatics, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media materials — is the largest and most important of its kind in the world. […] The Jewish Museum regularly presents large temporary exhibitions of an interdisciplinary nature. […] The Museum is also known for its exhibitions of fine arts interpreted in the context of social history.

For nearly a century, The Jewish Museum has illuminated the Jewish experience, both secular and religious, demonstrating the strength of Jewish identity and culture. Its unparalleled collection and unique exhibitions offer a wide range of opportunities for exploring multiple facets of the Jewish experience, past and present, and for educating current and future generations. It is a source of education, inspiration and shared human values for people of all cultures.

 

What’s to see?

 

The Jewish Museum : New York City

 

This next one, for example, explains the structure of a text very familiar to me from my middle-school and high-school years – the Talmud, the central text of Jewish teachings. The Babylonian Talmud is written in Aramaic and I remember long days spent trying to decipher these texts and what they’re about.

 

The Jewish Museum : New York City

 

More Jewish historical artifacts…

 

The Jewish Museum : New York City

 

with the occasional peculiar object, like this Menurah for a Jewish holiday called Hanuka (taking place around the same time as Christmas, depending on the lunar calendar) …

 

The Jewish Museum : New York City

 

A lovely collection of Torah arks from all over the world…

 

The Jewish Museum : New York City

The Jewish Museum : New York City

The Jewish Museum : New York City

The Jewish Museum : New York City

 

And finally, the largest collection of historical Jewish texts, dating back over a millennia…

 

The Jewish Museum : New York City

The Jewish Museum : New York City

The Jewish Museum : New York City

The Jewish Museum : New York City

 

If you’re interested in Jewish history and heritage, there’s probably no better place to visit in the states. As it’s on the New York City museum mile, drop in for a visit.



Tags: jewish culture; jewish hertiage; Jewish history; jewish museum; judaism; museum; new york city; upper east side;


1
Leave a Reply

avatar
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Irit C. Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Irit C.
Guest
Irit C.

I’ve just returned from a visit to NYC, and it was my first time
visiting this museum. Since I’ve seen my share of Torah scrolls and
other Judaic artifacts in my native Israel, I headed straight to the
special exhibitions, and how special they were indeed. Marc Chagall’s
haunting paintings evoke such a dreamlike atmosphere, and the subversive
comics of Art Spiegelman, the creator of MAUS, stretch the limits of
the medium as far as they would go.

This is a must-see museum for anyone interested in exploring other aspects of art. And you don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate it. But it helps. 😉

Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow buttonVisions of Travel InstagramVisions of Travel InstagramVisions of Travel Instagram