Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Wing
The Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Wing is currently closed to the public due to the comprehensive program of renewal at the Israel Museum.
The Israel Museum’s Judaica and Jewish Ethnography collection of ceremonial and secular objects is the most comprehensive in the world, ranging from the Middle Ages to contemporary times, and representing most of the Jewish diaspora. The collection was compiled during years of research and fieldwork, and reflects the depth, beauty, and creativity of the Jewish heritage together with the aesthetic and stylistic influences of the different cultures where Jews lived.
The Judaica and Ethnography holdings together number some 25,000 objects, covering a breadth of artisanship -- from items of rare aesthetic quality to poignant examples of simple folk craftsmanship. These form a tapestry of Jewish art and culture which mirrors the rituals and practices passed on from generation to generation. Each object, however, has a unique history and tells its own story.
Changing exhibitions provide an opportunity to focus on different subjects and themes in more typological and comparative ways. Thus for example, in 2002, North African Lights, Hanukkah Lamps from the Zeyde Schulmann Collection, allowed visitors to study in detail many types of Hanukkah lamps found in the Maghreb. The 2003 exhibition A Moveable Feast: Sukkahs from around the World brought together for the first time sukkahs erected in communities from east and west, highlighting both their common features and the uniqueness of each one.
In 2000 the Information Center for Judaica and Jewish Ethnography opened its doors to the public. With the help of state-of-the-art technology, the Center allows the general public, students, and scholars to broaden and deepen their understanding of objects in the collection while placing them in their artistic and historical context.
The Museum's goal in building these collections is to preserve, document and interpret the material remnants of Jewish life. Through exhibitions and displays, and now through advanced technology, the Museum brings to the public the richness and diversity of Jewish art and culture.
Chief Curator of Judaica and Jewish Ethnography
Curator of the Skirball Department of Judaica