Become a Member today! Learn More

The Jewish Museum galleries are open today from 11 am - 5:45 pm. The Shop and restaurant are closed.

Hours: Galleries

View All Hours
  • Sunday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Monday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Tuesday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Wednesday Closed
  • Thursday 11 am – 8 pm
  • Friday 11 am – 4 pm
  • Saturday 11 am – 5:45 pm

Ticket Pricing

View All
  • Adults $15
  • Seniors, 65 and over $12
  • Students $7.50
  • Children, 18 and under Free
  • Members Free
  • Thursdays, 5 – 8 pm Pay-What-You-Wish
  • Saturdays Free

The Jewish Museum
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York, NY 10128

The Jewish Museum
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York, NY 10128
212.423.3200

info@thejm.org
Open in Google Maps

Find directions by:

Transit Walk Car

Parking & Validation

Jewish Museum Members and visitors can park at Impark and Champion Parking. Read More

Tickets are validated through the Jewish Museum Security.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Feb 24

Saturday, February 24, 2018

|

11 AM

Free Saturdays

Learn More

Sun, Feb 25

Sunday, February 25, 2018

|

10 AM

Picture This!
Gallery Tour, Art Workshop & Concert

Learn More

Sun, Feb 25

Sunday, February 25, 2018

|

11:30 AM

The Pop Ups
Family Concert

Learn More

Sun, Feb 25

Sunday, February 25, 2018

|

12:30 PM

Studio Art Sessions
Book of Objects

Learn More

Mon, Feb 26

Monday, February 26, 2018

|

6:30 PM

The 32nd Annual Masked Purim Ball

Learn More

Mon, Feb 26

Monday, February 26, 2018

|

9 PM

The Purim Ball After Party

Learn More

Wed, Feb 28

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

|

2 PM

Verbal Description Tour
For Visitors Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

Learn More

Thu, Mar 1

Thursday, March 1, 2018

|

4 PM

Educator Workshop
Scenes from the Collection Open House

Learn More

Thu, Mar 1

Thursday, March 1, 2018

|

6:30 PM

Writers and Artists Respond
Through the Veil

Learn More

Who We Are

Welcome to the Jewish Museum, a museum in New York City at the intersection of art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds. Whether you visit our home in the elegant Warburg mansion on Museum Mile, or engage with us online, there is something for everyone. Through our exhibitions, programs, and collection of nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and media, visitors can journey through 4,000 years of art and Jewish culture from around the world.


As an art museum representing the diversity of Jewish culture and identity, the Jewish Museum believes in free expression and an open society. We embrace multiple viewpoints regardless of race, gender, national origin, or religion, and we oppose discrimination in all its forms.


Our exhibitions and public programs provide platforms for cross-cultural dialogue, fostering empathy, mutual understanding, and respect. We champion the powerful roles art and artists can play in our communities, both inside and outside the Museum’s walls.

Our Mission

The Jewish Museum is dedicated to the enjoyment, understanding, and preservation of the artistic and cultural heritage of the Jewish people through its unparalleled collections and distinguished exhibitions. Learn More

History

The Jewish Museum was founded in 1904 in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where it was housed for more than four decades. Located along New York's Museum Mile, this elegant former residence has been the home of the Museum since 1947. Learn More

Stories

Black History Month: Harlem’s Ethiopian Jews Read More

For the month of February, we invited writer Antwaun Sargent to explore works of art in the Jewish Museum collection that celebrate the intersection of black and Jewish experience. The series continues with Photo League photographer Alexander Alland’s Ethiopian Hebrews Series.

Alexander Alland, Ethiopian Hebrews Series, №27, c. 1940. Gelatin silver print. Sheet: 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm) Image: 7 3/4 × 9 3/4 in. (19.7 × 24.8 cm). Jewish Museum, New York. Purchase: Gift of Judith and Jack Stern. 1994–602

Alexander Alland’s Ethiopian Hebrews (c.1940) is a series of photographs in the Jewish Museum collection that documents the interior lives of a community of black Jewish people in Harlem. Alland, a first generation Jewish-American immigrant, was a member of the New York Photo League, an organization of leftist artists formed in Manhattan in 1936. The Photo League used the camera to capture the city and its residents in images that could reinforce calls for social reform.

Alexander Alland, Ethiopian Hebrews Series, №14, c. 1940. Gelatin silver print, 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Jewish Museum, New York. Purchase: Gift of Judith and Jack Stern. 1994–604

In 2011, I saw The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League 1936–1951, the Jewish Museum’s extraordinary survey of the organization’s pictures. It was from that exhibition that I discovered the Harlem Document, a group photography project that was meant to showcase the postwar social decay of the black uptown community. The project lasted four years, producing an array of images from 1936 to 1940, documenting the lives of the community’s poor; images include project leader Aaron Siskind’s Backyard, an aerial view of a yard filled with trash. Although the anticipated photo-book was never published, the photographs were exhibited in New York and reproduced in the nationally-circulated Look magazine, with captions that emphasized — and even embellished — the degree of poverty and decay seen in the images.

The project photographers were heavily criticized for their vernacular pictures of Harlem. The community commonly called the “black mecca,” where a renaissance in art, literature, and life had occurred a decade earlier, was largely missing from the Harlem Document. “Our study was definitely distorted,” Siskind later reflected. “We didn’t give a complete picture of Harlem. There were a lot of wonderful things going on in Harlem. And we never showed most of those.”

Alexander Alland, Ethiopian Hebrews Series, №1, c. 1940. Gelatin silver print. 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Jewish Museum, New York. Purchase: Gift of Judith and Jack Stern. 1994–603

Unlike the Harlem Document, Alland’s Ethiopian Hebrews Series are not poverty pictures. Rather, they focus on the upstanding members of a religious community in an attempt to advocate for so-called “model immigrants.” First produced for Life magazine and juxtaposed with images of Russian Gypsies on the Lower East Side, these photographs were part of Alland’s larger project to document the city’s many ethnic groups. Selections from the Ethiopian Hebrews Series were later published in his book American Counterpoint (1943). This comprehensive volume was dedicated to America’s immigrants and their descendants, and opened with a quote from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: “All races are here, / All the lands of the earth/make contributions here.” The images stand as a reminder that no matter how foreign the subjects may seem, they are not so different from the (presumably white) viewer after all — that America is, at heart, a nation of immigrants.

Alland’s series features images of Harlem’s African-American Hebrews, a denomination believing that they descended from Ethiopian Falashas (Ethiopians of Jewish faith). His photographs capture their vibrant displays of tradition, faith, and self-determination. Ethiopian Hebrews Series, №27, a black-and-white photograph of a group of black Jewish men and women, traditionally robed with their hands up in prayer in a synagogue, is an image of deep spirituality and community, contrasting the impressions of systemic poverty in the Harlem Document. The images Ethiopian Hebrews Series, №1, a picture Alland took of a sign outside of a community synagogue that reads “Royal Order of Ethiopian Hebrews Inc.,” and Ethiopian Hebrews Series, №37, a shot of school children reading Hebrew, captures how the community saw themselves as a god-fearing, striving people.

Alexander Alland, Ethiopian Hebrews Series, №37, c. 1940. Gelatin silver print. 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Jewish Museum, New York. Purchase: Gift of Judith and Jack Stern. 1994–601

Alland’s pictures reveal a dynamism that recalls the images of Harlem life, which black postwar photographers such as James Van Der Zee, Roy DeCarava, and Gordon Parks also captured in the neighborhood. Their images, like Alland’s Ethiopian Hebrews Series, resist easy stereotypes to show a fuller depiction of Harlem that offer up another side of the history that sits at the intersections of Jewish and black identity, as well as religious tradition. It’s the story of a community within a community, a history within a history.

Antwaun Sargent, Guest Contributor

Explore more works in the Jewish Museum collection and New York Photo League in honor of Black History Month online.


Black History Month: Harlem’s Ethiopian Jews was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Veiled Meanings: An Artist’s Response Read More

The Jewish Museum invited artist Michael Gac Levin to respond to our current exhibition through a series of drawings.

Installation view of the exhibition Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. November 3, 2017 — March 18, 2018. Photo by: Jason Mandella

The Jewish Museum’s current exhibition, Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, showcases more than 100 articles of clothing that attest to the diversity of Jewish communities around the world, from eighteenth to twentieth centuries.

To further explore how these clothes are seen, worn, and interpreted today, the Jewish Museum invited Brooklyn-based artist Michael Gac Levin to respond to the exhibition through a series of drawings.

Jews of Today by Michael Gac Levin

Born in Los Angeles in 1984, Michael Gac Levin became fascinated with the Hasidic enclaves of Brooklyn while living in Williamsburg as an art student. His interest soon narrowed to the Hasidic dress code, particularly that of Hasidic men. In 2013 he published Jews of Today, a book that explores and attempts to explain Hasidic menswear through drawing. His fantastical illustrations had us wondering what Levin might make of, just for example, the Rebbe’s Sabbath Coat, with its sumptuous pattern of peacock feathers, currently on view (pictured below).

Hasidic Rebbe’s Sabbath Coat. Jerusalem, 21st century. Silk, synthetic thread, and appliqué synthetic velvet bands; compound weave belt. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Gift of Josef Grunwald, Ashdod, B09.1523, B09.1540. Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem by Mauro Magliani

Gac Levin’s practice, largely rooted in drawing, has touched on multiple subjects, many of them personal: his assimilated Jewish-American upbringing, his memories of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, and the fraught relationship between the collective unconscious and the Netflix algorithm. For Gac Levin, drawing is a way to learn through intuition and imagination. In his drawings, he seeks to imbue images and objects that we might take for granted with a sense of possibility, and to disclose the personal, subjective nature of knowing.

The series below offers an interpretation of the clothing in Veiled Meanings that wavers between historical and poetic, outward- and inward-looking.

We hope you enjoy these drawings as much as we do.

Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem is on view at the Jewish Museum through March 18.


Veiled Meanings: An Artist’s Response was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Black History Month: A Single Figure That Could... Read More

For the month of February, we invited writer Antwaun Sargent to explore works of art in the Jewish Museum collection that celebrate the intersection of black and Jewish experience. The series continues with artist Kehinde Wiley’s Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel) on view now in Scenes from the Collection.

Installation view of Scenes from the Collection. The Jewish Museum, New York. Photo by: Jason Mandella

Since the early 2000s, the celebrated African-American portraitist Kehinde Wiley has created large-scale paintings, mostly of men of color, that have inserted their faces and stories into the frame of history. He has reimagined everyday people of color as princes, queens, and commanders. This week, he will have the distinct honor of entering into the annals of history a painting of America’s first black President, when the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery unveils Wiley’s official portrait of former President Barack Obama.

Mizrah, Israel Dov Rosenbaum, Podkamen, Ukraine, 1877 (date of inscription). Paint, ink, and graphite on cut-out paper. 30 1/2 × 21 in. (77.5 × 53.3 cm). Gift of Helen W. Finkel in memory of Israel Dov Rosenbaum, Bessie Rosenbaum Finkel, and Sidney Finkel. 1987–136

In 2011, Wiley, who scouts his sitters on the streets, presented a series of nineteen portraits of young Israeli men in Kehinde Wiley / The World Stage: Israel, an exhibition at the Jewish Museum. One of those images, Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel), which later entered the Jewish Museum collection, is currently on view in the exhibition Scenes from the Collection. Alios Itzhak is a portrait of a young Ethiopian Israeli Jewish man that recalls the art of Renaissance and Old Master painters such as Jacques-Louis David and Peter Paul Rubens, or the more recent history of pop-portraiture that includes the late artist Barkley L. Hendricks. Itzhak takes up the center of the painting, wearing a purple t-shirt and blue jeans with his hand on his hip. He stands before a backdrop inspired by a vibrant nineteenth-century Ukrainian papercut, a Jewish ceremonial object that Wiley found in the collection, and mounted next to his painting in Scenes from the Collection.

Kehinde Wiley, Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel), 2011. Oil and enamel on canvas. 115 × 80 × 1/8 in. (292.1 × 203.2 × 0.4 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York. Purchase: Gift of Lisa and Steven Tananbaum Family Foundation; Gift in honor of Joan Rosenbaum, Director of the Jewish Museum from 1981–2011, by the Contemporary Judaica, Fine Arts, Photography, and Traditional Judaica Acquisitions Committee Funds. 2011–31 © Kehinde Wiley

What is most powerful about this work is Itzhak’s gaze. He peers directly out into the world, posing and taking up space as a confident vision of himself. He wants to be added to the canon of visual culture. His posturing recalls, perhaps, the classic positioning of black men of other eras who have not been represented. Where they noblemen? Generals? Captains of bygone industry? Or simply men who towered quietly in the lives of their communities? Itzhak is a single figure that could easily be ten thousand.

The power that lies in Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel), for me, is that the painting puts a name on a face that belongs to a people who have made their own history. In Wiley historicizing Itzhak’s likeness, there is the promise that he along with the black Israeli Jewish community in which he belongs, will be long remembered; his community’s differences, which have left them largely invisible in both Jewish and Black identity, and spirituality, will be honored and recorded for what they are.

It also allows for the possibility that, in seeing Itzhak’s image hung in the Museum, we might want to know more about the lives of people of color like Itzhak. Wiley’s gesture of recording his face for us honors the idea that all should be included in the recounting of human history. It also contests the many official accounts that shut out men like Itzhak and their communities. It makes me wonder: is that really history at all? Wiley once likened painting to the recording of history by saying:

“Painting is about the world that we live in. Black men live in the world. My choice is to include them. This is my way of saying yes to us.”

— Antwaun Sargent, Guest Contributor

See Kehinde Wiley’s Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel) on view now in Scenes from the Collection at the Jewish Museum. Explore more works in the Jewish Museum collection in honor of Black History Month online.


Black History Month: A Single Figure That Could Easily Be Ten Thousand was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Shop

Hagenauer Menorah

Shop Online

Sol LeWitt Kippah

Shop Online

Neckpiece by Kobi Halperin

Shop Online

Become a Member

Jewish Museum members help us achieve our mission and also receive great benefits, including early access to exhibitions, free admission, discounts, and more.

Join or Renew Today