Post Chanukah Press Release
JEWISH CHILDREN’S MUSEUM “CHANUKAH EXPERIENCE” AN ENORMOUS SUCCESS
As 12 year old Nicole stepped off the elevator onto the Jewish Children’s Museum’s fourth floor she had one simple reaction: “Wow!”
The still unfinished fourth floor had been completely transformed into a spectacular Chanukah wonderland complete with baskets of olives, lanterns and a beautiful “Jerusalem stone” arch. Here a real-life Judah Maccabee demonstrated the making of Chanukah olive oil.
This was only one of the many activities the museum added especially for the eight days of Chanukah.
On the second floor, visitors were involved in their deep-frying latkes, while across the room children and adults were decorating “sufganiyot” to eat or take home with them. In other parts of the museum, guests were interacting with the regular hands-on exhibits.
Yaeli, age 7, and her 5 year old sister Nava came to the museum during their 10 day visit to the US from Israel. When asked what caught her attention during her visit, Yaeli said: “Yehudah Maccabee doing the olive press. He was so funny.” Apparently she was not the only one who thought so. With three daily showings to standing-room-only crowds, the show was a big hit with visitors of all ages.
Museum director Gershon Eichorn said that the plan is to have a unique exhibit for every holiday which will attract people even if they’ve visited before. “With the response we received to our Chanukah activities, I am confident people will continue to find the museum stimulating.”
On December 25th, it’s first day in “Chanukah Mode”, the museum welcomed over 1,100 visitors from the tri-state area and beyond, and it mushroomed from there. On January 1st and 2nd, the last days of Chanukah, more than 6,000 visitors toured the museum.
“The lines stretched halfway around the block” said Yifat Russ of guest services.
Eichorn said it was a big challenge to keep everything running smoothly and orderly but “with the help of our dedicated staff and volunteers, we were able to pull it off while remaining professional throughout”.
With more than eleven-thousand visitors during Chanukah, the museum catered to a very diverse crowd. Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, executive director of Tzivos Hashem, parent organization of the JCM, said: “With Chanukah coinciding with the public school vacations this year, the museum was able to attract visitors from a wide-range of different cultures and nationalities.”