CAJM Museums in All Directions

AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

The American Jewish Historical Society provides access to more than 25 million documents and 50,000 books, photographs, art and artifacts that reflect the history of the Jewish presence in the United States from 1654 to the present day. 

The Society’s museum collection includes paintings, textiles, silver, artifacts, posters and ephemera from the early 18th century through the 20th century, reflecting the variety of American Jewish culture as expressed in the synagogue, in ritual practice, in the home, in entertainment and even in sports.

AJHS LoebAmong the treasures are the handwritten original of Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus, which graces the Statue of Liberty; the Loeb Collection of early Jewish American portraits, records of the nation’s leading Jewish communal organizations and important collections in the fields of education, philanthropy, science, sports, business and the arts.

AJHS is one of five partner organizations at The Center for Jewish History in Manhattan and has a branch in Boston. Founded in 1892, it is the oldest national ethnic historical organization in the nation.

BEN URI GALLERY

From humble beginnings as an art society within London's East End Jewish community in 1915, the Ben Uri is today an acclaimed international museum, with a collection of more than 1,300 artworks by approximately 390 artists.

The name Ben Uri echoes that of legendary biblical craftsman Bezalel Ben Uri, the creator of the tabernacle in the Temple of Jerusalem, and it reflects a kinship with the ideals of the famous Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, founded in Jerusalem in 1906.

Ben Uri, GertlerThe blossoming of the immigrant generations of Jewish artists was mirrored by the development of modern painting in Britain, giving Great Britian many of its masters, like the group now known as “The Whitechapel Boys”.  Accordingly, this art museum for everyone places emphasis on art, identity, and migration. (Left, Mark Gertler's "Rabbi and Rebbitzin", 1914)

Ben Uri creates ground-breaking exhibitions in its temporary home in Boundary Road, St John's Wood, a location made famous by the Saatchi Gallery and the Beatles, while looking for a permanent space that would enable the museum to show its entire collection. Unfortunately, without a central London location, the bulk of the Ben Uri Collection remains hidden away in secure storage.  However, one can see many of art works in an impressive online gallery.

GOLDSMITH MUSEUM OF CHIZUK AMUNO CONGREGATION

The Goldsmith Museum of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore is a place of discovery and inspiration. The Museum strives to perpetuate Judaism through the medium of visual arts, to advance Jewish education, and to preserve the history of one of America's oldest synagogues. Through museum exhibits, docent-led tours, and other programming, the Goldsmith Museum reinforces the timeless Jewish ideals of learning, worship, and acts of loving kindness in both the Jewish community and the wider world.

Goldsmith, Bezalel reliefThe Goldsmith Museum is the only museum in Baltimore strictly devoted to Judaica, objects like Kiddush cups, Shabbat candlesticks, and spice boxes that have been donated and collected over decades by members of the congregation (left, Bezalel bronze relief sculpture, 1931). The museum is intended for congregants, other Jews, and non-Jews who are interested in the history of Jewish Baltimore. 

The layout of the museum is an expression of the three pillars that ground the synagogue's mission: Study (Torah), Worship (Avodah), and Acts of Loving-Kindness (Gemilut Hasadim). One wall of the permanent exhibit captures the synagogue's history, with enlarged black-and-white images of the synagogue's former sanctuaries lead to the doors of the sanctuary. 

PLOTKIN JUDAICA MUSEUM

Founded in 1967 at Congregation Beth Israel in Phoenix, Arizona, the Plotkin Judaica Museum has grown to be one of the Southwest’s most important institutions of education in the Jewish heritage. With a full program of exhibits, events and activities, the Museum offers audiences unique insights into 5,000 years of Jewish culture.

Thematic presentations of Jewish holidays and life cycle events adorn the museum, whose permanent collection contains over 1,000 Judaic artifacts from around the world. Rotating exhibits include featured contemporary artists and art from the collection. One notable feature of the permanent display is a scaled replica of the Western Wall of Jerusalem.

Plotkin, gardenThe Evanne Copland Kofman Biblical Garden, with numerous plants mentioned in the Bible (e,g, grape, fig, flax, terebinth, and ebony), is located just west of the Museum.  Within, a reconstructed, composite Sephardic synagogue, with beautiful mosaic tiles and gracefully curving arches, from a small family synagogue in Tunisia, provides a striking centerpiece.