Located in Brooklyn, New York, the Jewish Children’s Museum sets the stage for children of all backgrounds and beliefs to gain awareness and understanding of the Jewish heritage. Through a variety of educational, hands-on exhibits, visitors will experience Jewish history, culture, and traditions.
The Jewish Children’s Museum would not be in existence today with creators of the museum first hosting a Jewish Children’s Expo. In the fall of 1986, the first expo of its kind was held and drew a crowd of more than 30,000 people to the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
The Expo featured a variety of historical, cultural, and traditional exhibits meant to educate and delight their young visitors. Throughout the next 5 years, the Expo became increasingly more popular and at one point. In fact, the Expo had to be moved to a larger convention hall when more than 75,000 visitors began attending annually.
This extreme interest in the Expo led to the founders of the museum to the most wonderful idea – turning the expo into a year-round, permanent event – the Jewish Children’s Museum.
In March 1994, the Museum was dedicated to 16-year-old Ari Halberstam, a young Jewish boy who was gunned down and murdered in Brooklyn by a Lebanese terrorist. The Museum honors his memory by providing future generations of children with a message of hope, acceptance, and harmony through the power of knowledge.
The Museum is meant to be a place of learning, wonder, and hands-on experiences. That is why children are invited to touch, handle, and even climb on the exhibits. There are a variety of exhibits for visitors to learn and explore.
Exploring Jewish Life: Located on third floor, this exhibit allows the visitors to experience day-to-day aspects of Jewish life such as Shabbat, various holidays like Chanukah, shopping in the supermarket for typical Jewish foods, and cooking in a Kosher kitchen.
Voyage Through Jewish History: Located on the fourth floor, this exhibit takes visitors on a historical journey starting in biblical times, through the horrors of the Holocaust, and into modern Judaism. Visitors can par the red sea, learn about the evolution of Jewish traditions, take a virtual tour of Israel, and visit the Holy Temple built by King Solomon in Jerusalem.
Gallery of Games: Located on the fifth floor, this exhibit features six holes of mini golf course where children can play golf while experiencing major Jewish life events such as a Bar Mitzvah. The walls of this exhibit are literally lined with activities and games for children to enjoy.
Activity Center: This exhibit allows visitors to read, craft, attend workshops, discover synagogue, and experience what it’s like to be on a game show! There is even movie theater with multiple showings daily and a kid’s library.
Amenities: Besides all of the exciting exhibits, there is also a cozy coffee shop and a delicious restaurant on the ground level of the Museum.
Banquet Hall: There is also a place to celebrate a typical Jewish event such as bar and bat mitzvahs, engagements, and even host corporate events. There are a variety of caterers and event planners available to help organize the perfect event.
The Museum itself is one giant educational opportunity, however, there are group and school guided tours available upon request. There are after-school programs, summer camps, and various organizations available for visitors to participate in as well.
A variety of hands-on programs cover a wide range of themes including Jewish culture, holidays, history, traditions, and values. These programs are customizable and available for children ages Pre-K through 8th and include visits to the exhibits, creative crafts, game shows, and hands-on workshops. These programs conform to NY state and city learning standards and are also available for special needs groups.
Matzah Factory: During this event, children get the real experience of making Matzah! They harvest the wheat, draw the water, roll and bake their own Matzahs, all while learning about Passover through a very entertaining puppet show.
Throw and Tell: World renowned performer, Michael Karas, will be delighting guests with dynamic family fun! The show is a must see and is sure to delight visitors of all ages.
Jewish Children’s Museum, 792 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213, Phone: 718-467-0600
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