The mission of the Temple Judea Museum begins with the more than 3,000 objects in its permanent collection through exhibitions; preservation; acquisition; and value as an educational tool.
An active exhibition schedule showcases both historic and contemporary collections, and the museum regards contemporary art as essential to a fully realized Jewish visual experience. The museum's Artists Collaborative is an essential part of all museum activities.
The TJM collection contains artifacts from countries around the world including: the United States, Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, Egypt, Turkey, France, Hungary, Holland, England and Israel. Holdings include a fine assortment of antiquities from ancient Israel, a comprehensive textile collection, books, paintings, prints, photographs, and a variety of ephemera that complement the many precious and rare objects preserved in this collection.
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS
- A major collection of silver ceremonial objects.
- The second oldest American ketubah (marriage contract) from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1778.
- An embroidered Torah wimpel (binder), one of the oldest known to have survived the Holocaust, made from an infant's swaddling cloth, 1695
- A unique, contemporary Elijah's Chair, used in covenant ceremonies, commissioned by the Friends of the Museum.
- A religious commentary printed in Venice, Italy, 1574.
In addition to its collection and preservation activities TJM operates an annual schedule of changing original exhibitions that are free and open to the community. These exhibitions vary widely in content and theme, but the educational content of an exhibition is always of paramount importance. Of each yearly cycle of exhibitions one is drawn exclusively from the collection. The other exhibitions extend the reach and scope of the museum beyond the limits of the collection. A recent exhibition about the Bezalel School, Israel’s first art school, included objects drawn from Temple Judea Museum along with works borrowed from three private collections.
Past exhibitions have focused on the Jews of Ethiopia, Jewish soldiers in the Civil War, Israel, Jewish rituals of the life cycle, the Holocaust, comic books as an expression of Jewish experience, hand-made books, the WWII Home-front, art of the bible and much more. Exhibitions often contain a separate set of labels written especially for children, so that families visiting independently can approach the exhibition material in an interactive way.
The members of the TJM Artists' Collaborative bring a dynamic force to the museum experience and are involved in every aspect of its visual and cultural life. Lectures and tours, often drawing visitors from different religious and ethnic groups, are offered. Senior, church, and school groups are among the many visitors the museum welcomes each year from our local community, Greater Philadelphia, many states of the union, and abroad. Museum volunteers conduct specialized tours of the synagogue’s famous suite of stained glass windows, "The Prophetic Quest" by noted artist, Jacob Landau.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The Temple Judea Museum (TJM) is represented in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress (LC) through three objects. In 2005, the museum's Proclaim Liberty Kiddush cup became a part of the LC Hebraica Division. This limited edition, sterling silver cup was created by TJM in 2004 in celebration of the 350th anniversary of the arrival of Jews in America.
In 2016, Marlene Adler, a TJM Collaborative artist, photographed the Keneseth Israel building exterior. Those photographs were accepted into a juried exhibition about Pennsylvania Modernist Architecture sponsored by the PA State Museum in Harrisburg. Two of Marlene's photographs from that exhibition are now a part of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
The Temple Judea Museum celebrates the recognition of its artists and projects by this nation's premier library, The Library of Congress. Note: A limited number of Proclaim Liberty kiddush cups and prints of Marlene Adler's photographs are available for purchase.
|Monday - Friday||9 am - 5 pm|
|Friday Evenings||Before services|
|Director/Curator||Rita Rosen Poley|
|Chair||Karen Shain Schloss|
For more information, or to set up a group tour, call the Museum at 215-887-2027 or 215-887-8700 or e-mail us by clicking here.
The Temple Judea Museum is a Program Stream awardee of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
and a proud member of the American Alliance of Museums