New York City has the biggest Jewish community in the world, except for, of course, Israel. Therefore, there are many Jewish heritage sites spanning the city. From fascinating museums to beautiful synagogues, you will have many interesting places to explore if you want to experience this culture in New York.
Top 5 Jewish Heritage Sites to Visit First in New York City
Museum at Eldridge Street
The first stop on your list should definitely be the Museum at Eldridge Street. It’s located inside a beautiful synagogue, which dates back to 1887. This museum is a great place to learn about the history of Jewish emigrants in New York.
The museum often hosts interesting exhibits, so you can visit it multiple times and still discover something new. There are fascinating programs for kids that are both educational and fun. Try to visit in June as this is when the museum hosts a delightful festival where you can try a variety of cuisines to celebrate many neighborhood communities.
Museum of Jewish Heritage
If you want to learn more about the history of Jews around the world, you should visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This is the best place in the country to learn about the Holocaust and see the largest exhibit dedicated to it.
This museum is rather unique in its approach to depicting the Holocaust. Here you can see the history of the Jews throughout the 20th century so you witness not only the tragedy itself but also can watch the lives of Jews before and after it. This place provides you with an opportunity to understand the impact of the bloodiest genocide in human history.
Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
Of course, neither Ellis Island nor the Statue of Liberty is an exclusively Jewish heritage site. However, both of them are important for understanding the Jewish heritage in New York City. Ellis Island was the place where immigrants coming to the US were processed before being allowed to enter the country proper. Not everyone got their chance to live a life in the free America, so the associations related to this place aren’t all positive.
The Stature of Liberty, on the other hand, was (and still is for many) a beacon of hope. For many people, this was the first true sight of America, a symbol of freedom and escape from a horrible fate awaiting them in war-torn Europe during World War II.
Visit these sites to reconnect with your family’s past, especially if you still have stories of their arrival to the US passing from generation to generation.
The Jewish Children’s Museum
If you are looking for a way to get children interested in learning the history of their people and intricacies of their culture, the Jewish Children’s Museum is a perfect choice. It’s full of interactive exhibits and programs that will have kids excited about learning.
The museum hosts multiple events and workshops that can help children to not only understand the Jewish culture and traditions better, but also to develop skills to practice those traditions. And as kids will be learning through games, they are sure to enjoy the experience.
Jewish Museum, located in Upper East Side is a must-see place if you are interested in connecting with your heritage. Its exhibits are versatile and they allow you to see different sides of the Jewish culture and history.
Here you can learn the story of your people from the ancient times until today. Modern art exhibits and music performances show the evolution of the Jewish culture. And there are arts-and-crafts classes for children as well.