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.
The Jewish Children’s Museum provides exhibitions and programs for all children in an educational and entertaining format. Through contemporary technology and a hands-on approach to learning, visitors experience Jewish history, values and traditions in a manner that inspires an increased interest in Jewish culture. The Museum serves children of all ages and their families, and is a resource and model, nationally and internationally, for interactive education on Jewish themes.
The Museum is a setting for children of all faiths and backgrounds to gain a positive perspective and awareness of the Jewish heritage, fostering respect and understanding.
OUR 30 FT MOSAIC MURAL, MADE UP OF 1,408 FACES, CREATES ONE IMAGE AND A SPECIAL MESSAGE. THE MOSAIC CELEBRATES BOTH DIVERSITY AND UNITY - THE MANY DIFFERENT FACES OF CHILDREN, UNIFIED AS ONE.
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.
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.
THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES EXPLORE THE CAPTIVATING JEWISH CHILDREN'S EXPO OF 1986.
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 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.