Ever wondered what the word “Kosher” means? Or why the Jewish people still celebrate freedom from Egyptian slavery thousands of years later? Discover the values and traditions of the Jewish people practiced in ancient times—and today.
Enter a world where trees talk; a gumball machine is a charity box; and where you can even crawl through a loaf of bread.
There’s no better place to start an exploration of Jewish life than “In the Beginning…” Follow the biblical story of creation with a three-dimensional, multi-media display. Press a button to transform darkness into light. Look through a “telescope” to see the moon, planets, and stars. Peer into a lush aquarium, pet realistic looking animals and much more.
After six days of creation, God rested on the seventh day, and so the museum’s look at the creation story concludes with a fun-filled presentation of Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest. Walk on a giant table set for the Shabbat meal and discover the many wonderful symbols, rituals and customs.
Giant candles catch the eye and feature surprises hidden in their bases. Climb on one challah and braid another. Watch a video about wine presented in a huge Kiddush cup and use matzoh ball computers to print out recipes for traditional dishes and learn about Shabbat traditions from around the world.
Stroll through a replica of an old-fashioned shtetl- a village- to explore the Jewish holiday cycle. Weave your way in and out of storefronts and homes, peer through windows and visit “outdoor” displays. Investigate a shofar-maker’s workbench. Sit in a beautifully decorated sukkah, and “shop” for the perfect Lulav and Etrog. Press olive oil for Chanukah and become a news correspondent in a real newsroom in order to publicize the miracle of Chanukah. Retell the Purim story with puppets, and search for information on a large, interactive Passover Seder plate with plenty to lift up, look under and flip open. Play a virtual reality bow-and-arrow game for Lag B’Omer and try writing your name in Hebrew like a Torah scribe (an easy to follow chart shows you exactly what to do.
Enjoy role-playing fun and gain an understanding of the basics of the Jewish dietary laws. Stock up on kosher products with scaled-down shopping carts, artificial food, working scales and checkout scanners. At the checkout scanner, instead of ringing up prices, answer questions about various items on a touch-screen monitor.
With the shopping done, it’s time to head to the kosher kitchen. Sort the two sets of dishes and utensils into the appropriate cupboards.
Open the refrigerator and get a real surprise—it talks! And it has a great sense of humor too! Set the table for Shabbat dinner and watch a kosher cooking show featuring real kids as chefs.