The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art (SMMJA) celebrates the legacy of Jewish art, history, and culture in Tulsa and houses the most extensive collection of Jewish art in the Southwestern United States. Founded in 1965 as the Gershon & Rebecca Fenster Museum of Jewish Art, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art features a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that highlight the art, culture, history, and religion of the Jewish faith. The double story museum building contains 13,700 square feet of exhibit space, including a model synagogue that is used for services twice a week by children from the Mizel Jewish Community Day School. The upper level of the building houses a permanent Holocaust exhibit that exhibits photographs, documents, and memorabilia from Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, local veterans who liberated German concentration camps, and Holocaust victims and survivors. The upper level of the building displays art and artifacts related to the history of the Jewish people and their faith, ranging from the pre-Canaanite period in the Middle East to Jewish settlements in Oklahoma.
The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art (SMMJA) was founded as the Gershon & Rebecca Fenster Museum of Jewish Art in 1965 when a local synagogue brought a traveling exhibit from the Jewish Museum in New York. The museum was housed in the Tulsa's Congregation B'nai Emunah Synagogue and was renamed Sherwin Miller Museum in 2000 before moving to its current location on the Zarrow Campus of the Jewish Federation of Tulsa. Today, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art shares the Zarrow Campus with the Mizel Jewish Community Day School, the Jewish Federation of Tulsa/Charles Schusterman Jewish Community Center, and the Tulsa Jewish Retirement and Health Care Center
Collections / Exhibits
The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art features a permanent collection of art and artifacts spread over two floors of the building. The museum's permanent collection features more than 16,000 objects, including items of archaeological and ritual significance, historical documents, fine artworks, ethnographic costumes, and synagogue textiles.
The collection highlights the 5,000-year history of the Jewish people, dating back to the pre-Canaanite era and through to the settling of the Jewish community in Tulsa and the American Southwest. Exhibitions allow visitors to discover how the exiles and immigrant traveled to the new lands, their Jewish practices, ceremonies, holidays, and rich heritage.
The lower-level of the Museum is home to the Herman and Kate Kaiser Holocaust Exhibition, which features hundreds of objects, artifacts and relics donated by Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and Oklahoma veterans who were involved in the liberation of German concentration camps. The stories of these people have been gathered together in the Holocaust Education Center at the SMMJA to create awareness of the horrors encountered during the Nazi regime.
In addition to its permanent and temporary exhibitions, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art also houses the Tulsa Jewish Genealogical Society, the Markovitz Jewish Genealogy Study and Research Center, and the Julius and Gertrude Livingston Oklahoma Jewish Archives. The Jewish Archives feature a repository of over 10,000 documents, items, and photographs. The genealogical society acts as a local resource for area genealogists who are researching their roots.
The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art offers an educational youth program called Miller Kids, which has been designed using a multi-tiered approach and consists of art classes and workshops, school curricula, student tours, the annual Purim Mask Invitational Art Contest, and the Kinder-Stone Project to commemorate children who perished in the Holocaust.
The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art (SMMJA) is located at the 2021 E 71st Street in Tulsa and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays from noon to 5:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Docent-led tours of the entire museum or specific exhibitions for school groups, adult groups, and individual visitors can be arranged, along with special programs, such as lectures and talks and films.
2021 E 71st St, Tulsa, OK 74136, Phone: 918-492-1818
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