Core Exhibition

Covering 25,000 square feet and three and a half floors of the Museum’s new building, the core exhibition offers a layered experience through which visitors explore more than 350 years of Jewish life in America through evocative objects, telling moments, and state-of-the-art interactive media. In addition, the Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame celebrates the lives and achievements of eighteen Jewish Americans who exemplify a central theme of the Museum—that America has provided individuals with extraordinary opportunities.

Building on the dynamic interaction between the Museum’s location on Independence Mall, the history and traditions of the Jewish people, and the broader national experience, the core exhibition highlights the diverse backgrounds, expectations, and experiences of Jews who came to and made their homes in the United States. Visitors to the exhibition explore how and when Jews immigrated to America, the choices they faced, the challenges they confronted, and the ways in which they shaped, and were shaped by, their American home.

On each floor of the core exhibition, visitors will encounter people, episodes, ideas, and experiences that highlight the religious, social, political, and economic lives of American Jews. They will see historical objects, enter period environments, and experience cutting-edge interactive technology. Visitors of every background will learn about aspects of Jewish religious life, including major holidays, rituals, and lifecycle events.

4th floor — Foundations of Freedom: 1654 – 1880

3rd floor — Dreams of Freedom: 1880 – 1945

2nd floor — Choices and Challenges of Freedom: 1945 – Today

1st floor — Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame

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