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Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey

Permanent Exhibition


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At the heart of The Jewish Museum is its permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, representing one of the world's great opportunities to explore Jewish culture and history through art. This vibrant two-floor exhibition features 800 works from the Museum's remarkably diverse collection of art, archaeology, ceremonial objects, video, photographs and interactive media. It examines the Jewish experience as it has evolved from antiquity to the present, over 4,000 years, and asks two vital questions: How has Judaism been able to thrive for thousands of years across the globe, often in difficult and even tragic circumstances? What constitutes the essence of Jewish identity?

The exhibition traces the dynamic interaction among three catalysts that have shaped the Jewish experience: the constant questioning and reinterpretation of Jewish traditions, the interaction of Jews and Judaism with other cultures, and the impact of historical events that have transformed Jewish life. Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey proposes that Jews have been able to sustain their identity, despite wide dispersion and sometimes tragic circumstances, by evolving a culture that can adapt to life in many countries and under various conditions. Survival as a people has depended upon both the continuity of Jewish ideas and values and the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.

Larry Rivers (American, 1923-2002)
Portrait of Vera List, c. 1965
Paint, charcoal, wood, tape,
Plexiglas, and aluminum window frame
32 x 27 x 4 in. (81.3 x 68.6 x 10.2 cm)
The Jewish Museum, New York
Gift of Vera G. List, 1984-21
Art © Estate of Larry Rivers
Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
hanukkah lamp
Hanukkah Lamp
Orivit-Aktiengesellschaft (1900-1905)
Köln-Braunsfeld (Germany), 1900-05
White metal: cast and silver-plated;
glass: mold formed
13 7/8 x 12 3/4 x 5 5/16 in. (35.3 x 32.4 x
13.5 cm)
The Jewish Museum, New York
Gift of Dr. Harry G. Friedman (?), F 3573

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Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (German, 1800-1882)
The Return of the Volunteer from the Wars of Liberation to His Family Still Living in Accordance with Old Customs (Die Heimkehr des Freiwilligen aus den Befreiungskriegen zu den nach alter Sitte lebenden Seinen), 1833-34
Oil on canvas
34 x 37 in. (86.4 x 94 cm)
The Jewish Museum, New York
Gift of Richard and Beatrice Levy , 1984-61

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The Jewish Museum - 5th Avenue
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York NY 10128