The Temple Judea Museum (TJM) is the only Jewish museum in Montgomery county. TJM is run by Rita Rosen Poley, an experienced museum curator, writer and an artist herself. For many years she was the arts critic and columnist for the Jewish Exponent.
TJM is the only museum in the entire Philadelphia region that collects, preserves and displays objects relating to the entire history of the Jewish people and Israel through original, curated exhibitions.
TJM is the only museum in this region with an active cohort of practicing artists: The Temple Judea Museum Artists' Collaborative. Artists of the Collaborative carry out curatorial projects, work with adults and children, exhibit, research the permanent collection, and are integral to the identity of TJM.
TJM has created the Arts Alive Gallery, a professionally run art gallery that is a part of a community pre-school (The Kenesesth Israel (KI)- Rudolf School). This may be the only gallery of its kind in this entire country.
TJM is a Project Stream recipient of funds from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Project Stream selection is a recognition of a high standard of arts programming and curatorial excellence.
A dedicated group of volunteers is working to make the entire TJM collection available on-line. Parts of the collection are now searchable online.
While the Temple Judea Museum is a family museum, located within a very active community synagogue, our visitors come from far and near. Our highly regarded permanent collection of over 4,000 objects consists of antique and contemporary Judaica, Israeliana, rare books, historic and art photography, ephemera, paintings, works on paper, 3-D crafts and folk objects and much more. Our original exhibitions draw from our permanent collection and from invited contemporary artists and collections. Our subjects and media are varied and express the full range of the stories of the Jewish people. In addition to active exhibition and program schedules the museum offers tours to visiting adult and school groups of “The Prophetic Quest” the monumental stained glass windows of Jacob Landau, which grace the KI synagogue’s Korn Memorial Sanctuary.
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. Exhibitions may be drawn exclusively from the collection while others 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 curatorial efforts 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.
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. Members of the Collaborative are essential to the museum's newest effort: The Arts Alive Gallery - our professionally run art gallery exclusively for the children of KI's Rudolf preschool.
Lectures and tours, 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 architecture. 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 architect of the KI building was Israel Demchick who was an authority on synagogue design and on the design of institutions for the elderly. He was appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to head the first national committee to investigate geriatric needs in architecture. Demchick joined the AlA in 1923. He donated a chair in architecture to the Hebrew University in Israel and was named the school's Man of the Year in 1971.
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