Philly’s Jewish History Museum

The National Museum of American Jewish History on Independence Mall is dedicated to nearly 400 years of American Jewish life and culture.

After entering, guests are sent to the top floor. Exhibits are in chronological order, with each floor dedicated to a different period.

The top floor exhibit includes a famous letter from George Washington, where he states:

…the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Like most contemporary museums, exhibits are a mix of artifacts, texts, recreations, and video displays. There is room dedicated to the expansion of America where a movie is projected on a giant flat surface.

Exhibits include Jews in colonial America, 19th and early 20th century immigrant experience, labor unions, prejudice, growth of synagogues, Depression and World Wars, Jews in the entertainment industry, suburban life, and the civil rights movement.

Below are a few shots. I spent a bit over two hours making my way through the centuries.

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