The Museum of Jewish Heritage, located in lower Manhattan, is a living memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust. The Museum honors those who died by celebrating their lives - cherishing the traditions that they embraced, examining their achievements and faith, and affirming the vibrant worldwide Jewish community that is their legacy today. The building, designed by Roche-Dinkeloo, is topped by a pyramid structure called the Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
Since the Museum first opened its doors in 1997, visitors of all ages and backgrounds have gained a perspective on 20th and 21st century Jewish history and heritage. Now in its second decade, the Museum has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors from all over the World. The two Biblical quotes that define the Museum’s mission - “Remember, Never Forget” and “There Is Hope For Your Future” - also define the Museum's perspective on the events of the 20th and 21st century Jewish experience.
Although the Museum centers on life before, during, and after the Holocaust, the obligation to remember is enriched and enhanced by a commitment to the principles of social justice, education, and culture in the Jewish community and beyond. Included in the Museum are special exhibitions, public programming, and contemplative spaces, which are intended to enrich the visitor experience.
The Museum's collection contains more than 25,000 items about modern Jewish history and the Holocaust. Many of these items rotate into the Core Exhibition, while others are featured in temporary exhibitions. In addition, many can be viewed in the Museum’s searchable Online Collection.
The Core Exhibition tells the story of 20th and 21st century Jewish life from the perspective of those who lived it. Through a rotating collection that includes artifacts, photographs, and documentary films, the Core Exhibition places the Holocaust in the larger context of modern Jewish history. It is organized into three chronological sections: Jewish Life A Century Ago; The War Against the Jews; and Jewish Renewal-each told on a separate floor. It is housed in a remarkable six-sided building-symbolic of the six points of the Star of David and the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
The visitor experience begins with a nine-minute, multimedia presentation that introduces the themes of the Museum. Combining vivid imagery, music, and multigenerational voices, this collage eloquently conveys the richness, diversity, and tenacity of Jewish life around the world.
Jewish Life A Century Ago
The first floor of the Core Exhibition explores vibrant and multifaceted Jewish life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Personal artifacts and family photographs accompanied by documentary films provide a rich emotional component to the exhibition.
The War Against the Jews
The second floor tells the story of Europe’s Jews confronting hatred and violence, of communities coping with persecution and isolation, and of their struggles to maintain humanity. These galleries present the history of the Holocaust from the point of view of Jews who lived through it, using their own artifacts, photographs, testimony, and historical footage. Chronological displays provide a framework for the historical events of the period.
The third floor of the Core Exhibition focuses on how Jewish individuals and communities rebuilt their lives after the Holocaust and continue to thrive in the 21st century. The exhibition concludes with how conte
mporary Jewry has embraced the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) and fighting for justice for everyone.
Keeping History Center
The Keeping History Center, an ongoing exhibition, presents the Museum’s ideas and collections in a state-of-the-art, interactive, digital visitor experience.