update deskJewish & Israeli Culture

Capital Jewish Museum opens in Washington, DC

The museum includes an 1876 restored synagogue building that was moved on wheels through the city to its new home.

Artist's rendering of the now completed Capital Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C. Credit: Capital Jewish Museum.
Artist's rendering of the now completed Capital Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C. Credit: Capital Jewish Museum.

The Capital Jewish Museum opened earlier this month in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Judiciary Square—blocks from the U.S. Capitol, the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall, and near what was a center of Jewish life in the district a century ago.

The museum “explores the Jewish experience in the national capital region and inspires visitors to connect, reflect and act,” per its site, which cites an “experimental spirit.”

Among the collections objects are a matchbox signed by President Jimmy Carter and used in 1979 to light the White House Chanukah menorah; Washington Post press badges (spanning 1966-1982) of Judith Martin (“Miss Manners”); and a white lace collar that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the former Supreme Court associate justice, wore on the bench.

The museum owns 24,000 photographs, 1,050 artifacts and 800 linear feet of archival material dating back to 1850, according to a release.

The 32,500-square-foot museum consists of four floors and admission is free, except for special exhibits. One current exhibit centers on Ginsburg which the museum calls “visually rich, entertaining, yet rigorous.”
The collection also includes the restored, 1876 Adas Israel synagogue building, which has been moved on wheels.

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