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Yeshiva University Museum

15 West 16th Street
New York, NY

Phone: 212-294-8330 - Tty: -

Statement of Purpose

To preserve, enrich and interpret Jewish life as it is reflected in the arts, history and sciences.

A Brief History

Since its founding in 1973, Yeshiva University Museum’s changing exhibits have celebrated the culturally diverse intellectual and artistic achievements of 3,000 years of Jewish experience. The Museum provides a window into Jewish culture around the world and throughout history through its acclaimed multi-disciplinary exhibitions and award-winning publications. By educating audiences of all ages with dynamic interpretations of Jewish life, past and present, along with wide-ranging cultural offerings and programs, the Museum attracts young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish audiences.

Highlights & Collections

Exhibitions & Programs

YUM shares this new state-of-the-art facility with four partners, three of whom are renowned research and archival institutions focusing on specific aspects of Jewish history and culture: YIVO, the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardic Federation, and the Leo Baeck Institute. The Museum has four galleries, an exhibition arcade, an outdoor sculpture garden, a docent lounge, and a children’s workshop room, in addition to its own suite of offices. The Museum has access to a 250 seat, handicapped-accessible auditorium with a state-of-the- art AV projection room, various smaller meeting rooms, a lunchroom and a kosher cafe'.

Yeshiva University Museum presents exhibitions with an interdisciplinary focus that reflect the diversity of the Museum’s collection of more than 8,000 artifacts. “Our primary focus is the interpretation of Jewish history from a multi-disciplinary perspective, and we produce two types of exhibitions, usually shown concurrently,” explains director Sylvia A. Herskowitz. “One exhibit examines a Jewish community or historic event; the other features emerging or established contemporary artists working on Jewish themes.” Occasionally, the Museum presents traveling exhibitions.

As a resource for scholarly research, Yeshiva University Museum’s exhibitions provide unique opportunities for artists, historians, collectors, and ethnographers to examine, compare, and research objects, ideas, and techniques. Its contemporary art shows offer the public the opportunity to survey art being created by living Jewish artists throughout the world.

Yeshiva University Museum’s programs are designed to expand the intellectual and creative imagination of its diverse audiences. They include family craft workshops, lectures, films, concerts, and multilingual exhibition tours in English, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, and Yiddish.


Yeshiva University Museum's diverse collection of more than 8,000 artifacts reflects its interdisciplinary approach; it includes fine and folk art, ethnographic and archaeological artifacts, clothing and textiles, Jewish ceremonial objects, documents, books and manuscripts. The collection's breadth and diversity represents over 2,000 years of the aesthetic sensibilities of Jews living throughout the world, co-existing in multicultural societies.

Highlights of the Museum's collection include: Archaeological artifacts dating from the Bronze Age to the Late Antique Period, Historic illuminated manuscripts such as one from 1478 recording the Simon of Trent blood libel trial. Thomas Jefferson's handwritten letter of 1818 affirming religious freedom and denouncing anti-Semitism; the Torah scroll and Tefillin of the Baal Shem Tov (1700-1760), founder of the Hassidic movement. Clothing, and accessories from around the world, such as a gold embroidered Ottoman bindalli wedding dress, a Moroccan keswa el kbira (grand costume), and a kroj, a Czechoslovakian national costume made for a child in 1932/3.

Yeshiva University Museum's collections are a repository for several significant collections of Jewish art and material culture, including:

Exhibits & Special Events


Admission & Directions:

Key Personnel:

Bonni-Dara Michaels, Collections Curator

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