Take the Kids to the Museum of Jewish Heritage
Guest blogger Thomas Hoffmann gives us a wonderful overview of an important museum.
WHAT IT IS : The Museum of Jewish Heritage is A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust.
WHERE IT IS:
Edmond J. Safra Plaza
36 Battery Place
New York, NY 10280
WHAT AGE IS IT APPROPRIATE FOR? Children 12 and over. Different children are at different levels of maturity, so consider your child’s level of maturity before taking them.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE KIDS: A good introduction to the Holocaust and the individual experiences of the people who lived through it. The Keeping History Center currently presents a “virtual conversation” with a hologram of a Holocaust survivor. Children enjoy pressing the button and talking to the “video." Secondarily, children appreciate the awe-inspiring views of the Statue of Liberty and Hudson River in the Keeping History Center.
The War Against the Jews
This exhibit covers the Nazi party’s rise to power, starting with the Weimar Republic after World War I to the rise of Hitler as Chancellor. It charts the escalation of anti-Semitic policy from the early 1930s through the end of the Holocaust.The exhibit includes a number of objects that vividly bring to life the anti-Semitic culture of Nazi Germany, including a board game where the object was to rout the Jews from Germany. Several anti-Semitic newspapers of the period are on display as well as written testaments from Holocaust survivors. Two features of the exhibit that bring home the horror of the period are a replica of a cattle car used to transport prisoners to concentration camps and photographs of MS St. Louis, an ocean liner carrying 900 Jews that tried to enter the United States in 1939 and was turned away. Two hundred and fifty of the passengers were later killed by the Nazis.
In Confidence- This exhibit displays journals from the Holocaust, or their remnants.
There is a temporary “virtual reality tour” with a Holocaust survivor who guides you through a virtual reality tour of a former concentration camp. This is an amazing experience that truly makes the visitor feel as if they are walking around the remains of a concentration camp. The virtual reality experience is hosted by the Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter and it feels like you are standing beside Pinchas Gutter the whole time. This experience can leave you feeling slightly dizzy, other visitors may experience more motion discomfort. Unfortunately, the access to this experience is quite limited, and can only accommodate one guest at a time. Note that a reservation must be made for the virtual reality experience at Visitor Services when you arrive at the museum.
Dimensions in Testimony—- A virtual conversation with Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter. Gutter recorded hours worth of questions. Guests can press a button and ask the hologram a question. Children enjoy the experience of pressing the button and talking to the hologram.
WHEN IT IS OPEN :
Wednesday Thursday 10am-8pm10am-8pm,
Note: From November 9, 2018 through March 15, 2019, the museum will be open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Fridays. Last admission to the Museum is 30 minutes prior to closing time.
Closed Saturdays, major Jewish holidays, and Thanksgiving
WHEN YOU SHOULD GO: The museum is generally less crowded first thing in the morning on weekdays. However, there are frequent class trips to the museum which affect crowds. There is free entry on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 8pm. During the “free hours” the museum is more crowded.
WHAT IT COSTS:
Children under 12: free
WHERE TO EAT : There is a cafeteria on the second floor, with a menu of all Kosher products. There is also the Battery Market across the street, make a left upon exiting the museum, go across the street, walk several blocks to left.
NEARBY: The September 11 Memorial Museum, as well as the One World Observatory are closest. The Westfield Mall is nearby.
BARGAIN HUNTERS: Admission is free for Museum Members and children age 12 and under. Purchase of an admission ticket for Visitors with Disabilities includes free admission for one accompanying care partner. If you have CULTURE PASS, a program for NYPL card holders, you can reserve a free pass for up to four people at the museum. Availability is limited. Admission is free for our nation’s active-duty military personnel and up to five family members from May 25 – September 3, 2018, as part of the Blue Star Museums program.