Where Time Stops and Adventure Begins

Join us for an adventure as Jewish history and culture come to life! Relive famous biblical stories and explore traditions and customs. Whether you’re discovering a new culture or celebrating your own heritage, the Jewish Children’s Museum is a fun and educational environment for children and parents of all faiths and backgrounds.

Our Mission

A CELEBRATION OF JEWISH LIFE – ITS HISTORY, CULTURE, AND TRADITIONS

is geared for Public School students, introducing them to a colorful array of customs and traditions in the Jewish culture. Experienced museum educators will guide students as they step back in time to explore the Jewish holiday cycle in a quaint, cobblestoned village.

Students will shop in a kid-sized Kosher supermarket, press olive oil for the Hanukkah menorah, and crawl through the world’s largest challah-bread. They will enjoy a live, interactive game show and get creative with a Jewish themed craft, to take home as a souvenir.

As students examine the roots and basis for many Jewish customs, they will recognize manners of conduct that stand at the root of practices found in other cultures around the world.

The Making of the Jewish Children’s Museum

The creativity expressed in the exhibits at the Jewish Children’s Museum is the result of decades of ex- perience and interaction with children, where an appreciation of their unquenchable desire for knowl- edge was attained. Acquiring this understanding of children began back in 1980 when the organization Tzivos Hashem - Jewish Children International, was founded.

THE FIRST STEP – JEWISH CHILDREN’S EXPO ...

In late fall 1986, the makers of the Jewish Children’s Museum held its first Jewish Children’s Expo, which started the journey that would lead to the Jewish Children’s Museum. The Expo turned 30,000 square feet of the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City into a wonderland of Jewish experi- ences. Over 30,000 people visited the first Jewish Children’s Expo, a four day event.

The Expo, which was patterned after the World Exposition Fairs, portrayed a voyage through Jewish history both joyous and somber. Visitors were guided through the six days of creation, the Mt. Sinai ex- perience, the glory of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem to modern day Israel.

Over the next five years the Expo grew. The complete exhibition required 45,000 square feet. More than 75,000 visitors attended annually. It became clear that there is a great demand for a year round Expo ... a museum ... a museum for children .... The Jewish Children’s Museum.

Jewish Children’s Museum...

Children are invited to climb on a giant challah loaf, “Shop” for kosher groceries in a scaled-down su- permarket, and jump the Noah's Ark ball pit. In every corner of the museum’s 50,000 square foot, $35 million facility, Jewish life and history come alive through creative and accessible multi-media activities designed to engage, entertain and educate.

Technology is employed to reach modern children through their favorite medium: absolute excitement. Jewish history, values and culture are woven into specially designed computer games and videos.

THE BUILDING

The multi-media Jewish Children’s Museum, the first of its kind in the world, opened in 2004 on Brook- lyn’s Museum Row, at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. Gwathmey Siegel Architects was engaged by the Executive Director of the Jewish Children’s Museum, Yerachmiel Benjaminson, to design an original “wired” structure versatile enough to act as both a mu- seum and as a place of hands-on learning and wonder.

Visitors enter the lobby and information area on the ground floor which also houses a cafeteria and museum shop. The interactive computer training labs on the lower level are devoted to hands-on learn- ing. They are home to dozens of creative workshops, as well as an arts and crafts center where children bake challah or matzos, carve shofars, make menorahs and braid Havdalah candles.

On the second level, a flexible 5,000 square foot area serves as a gallery, concert hall or banquet room depending on the scheduled event.

The heart of the museum is in the galleries which occupy the third and fourth of the building’s six floors. There visitors encounter an array of exhibits and displays covering Jewish history and heroes, holidays and customs, the Holocaust, and contemporary Jewish life. Some 100 lifelike dioramas add a concrete visual dimension to the exhibits in conjunction with multi-media presentations designed to capture the attention of the museum’s young visitors. The top two floors of the Museum hold administrative offic- es, a conference room and support services.

Gwathmey Siegel’s design utilizes sustainable, contemporary materials and a high-tech infrastructure to offset and complement the Museum’s narratives of ongoing tradition.

With a building by the award-winning architecture firm Gwathmey Siegel, and exhibits designed by the renowned firms Douglas / Gallagher and Nash Brookes and created by Maltbie and Watson Produc- tions, writer and consultant Paul Rosenthal, and a team of talented educators, the museum is amply prepared to delight children of all backgrounds, their parents and teachers.

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