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Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

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Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust Review

In a granite 85-foot hexagon at the southern end of Battery Park City, this museum pays tribute to the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Architects Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo built the museum in the shape of a Star of David, with three floors of exhibits demonstrating the dynamism of 20th-century Jewish culture. Visitors enter through a gallery that provides a context for the early-20th-century artifacts on the first floor: an elaborate screen hand-painted for the fall harvest festival of Sukkoth, wedding invitations, and tools used by Jewish tradesmen. Original documentary films play throughout the museum. The second floor details the rise of Nazism and anti-Semitism, and the ravages of the Holocaust. A gallery covers the doomed voyage of the SS St. Louis, a ship of German Jewish refugees that crossed the Atlantic twice in 1939 in search of a safe haven. Signs of hope are also on display, including a trumpet that Louis Bannet (the "Dutch Louis Armstrong") played for three years in the Auschwitz-Birkenau inmate orchestra. The third floor covers postwar Jewish life. Recent temporary exhibits explore the history of American Jews who tried to rescue European Jews leading up to and during the Holocaust, as well as the rich Jewish history of Oswiecim, the town the Germans called Auschwitz. The museum's east wing has a theater, a memorial garden, a library, more galleries, and a café. A free audio guide, with narration by Meryl Streep and Itzhak Perlman, is available at the admissions desk.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 36 Battery Pl., Battery Park City Financial District, New York, NY 10280 | Map It
  • Phone: 646/437–4202
  • Cost: $12, free Wed. 4–8
  • Hours: Thurs. and Sun.–Tues. 10–5:45, Wed. 10–8, Fri. and eve of Jewish holidays 10–3
  • Website:
  • Subway: 4, 5 to Bowling Green.
  • Location: Financial District
Updated: 02-24-2014

Fodorite Reviews

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    Very good Jewish history museum

    Very good Jewish museum, more systematically historic and concerned with workaday artifacts than the Jewish Museum on Museum Mile or the Center for Jewish History museum complex near the Flatiron District. Permanent collection gives information about pre-WW2 Jewish life, Jews in the Nazi era, and post WW2 Jewish life; also has temporary exhibit space. Well organized and very affecting. This is large museum -- expect to spend several hours here for a thorough visit.

    by bachslunch, 1/25/09

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