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The Building

 
The multi-media Jewish Children’s Museum, the first of its kind in the world, opened in 2004 on Brooklyn’s Museum Row, at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. Gwathmey Siegel Architechts 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 museum 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 learning. 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 offices, 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 Productions, 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.