Expanded and reimagined ANU–Museum of the Jewish People features 72,000 square feet of gallery space, tripling its previous footprint
Edited by: TJVNews.com
The newly expanded and reimagined ANU–Museum of the Jewish People opened last week, becoming the world’s only museum dedicated to celebrating and exploring the diverse experiences, collective accomplishments, and boundless spirit of the Jewish people, told from all perspectives, from biblical times to today. Capping a transformational, decade-long, $100 million expansion that triples its gallery space to 72,000 square feet, the renewed museum features four wings spanning three floors. Formerly known as Beit Hatfutsot, the museum embarks on this next chapter with a new name and brand identity by adding “ANU” — Hebrew for “we” or “us” — which embraces and reflects the diversity, nuances, collective spirit and celebration of the entirety of Jewish peoplehood.
ANU–Museum of the Jewish People will guide visitors of all faiths, backgrounds and ages on an inspiring and enlightening journey of discovery to recognize and embrace their unique part in the Jewish story. The museum’s centerpiece is a comprehensive new core exhibition featuring historic and modern artifacts, images, specially-produced films, multimedia displays, state-of-the-art multi-sensory stations and immersive spaces, as well as original and newly commissioned artworks to illuminate the 4,000-plus-year history of the Jewish people in a fresh, contemporary context. The redesigned museum is open with enhanced health and safety protocols in place.
“It is a dream come true to realize the transformation and expansion of this beloved institution, which is the largest and most comprehensive Jewish museum in the world,” said Irina Nevzlin, Museum Board Chair. “The museum will serve as a beacon of Jewish identity and culture, celebrating our unique history and future. We’re grateful for the incredible support that has helped make this museum rebirth possible.”
“It’s never been more important to underscore what binds us together as a people: our history, culture, values and a sense of belonging,” said Dan Tadmor, CEO of the Museum. “Our reinvigorated museum represents what can be achieved through patience, perseverance and passion. From rich history illuminated through unique artifacts, to engaging interactive and immersive experiences, ANU is a mosaic of today’s diverse Jewish identity. We are excited to open our doors for all to visit, discover and be inspired.”
A Re-imagined and Enhanced Museum Experience
The new museum’s cornerstone experience is conceived as a journey from the top floor (reflection of Jewish identity and culture today) and working your way down to the first floor (the foundations of Judaism).
The Mosaic–Modern Jewish Identity and Culture Wing (third floor) — The largest of the three floors, this vast, open wing is dedicated to the vibrant and rich life of the Jewish people today, the diverse forms of Jewish culture in modern times, and the myriad contribution Jews have made to global civilization and culture. Featuring a Jewish Hall of Fame, the gallery showcases Jewish achievement and impact in areas such as dance, theater, film, TV, music, humor, literature, languages and modern art.
The Journey–The Jewish Story Through Time Wing (second floor) — This floor is devoted to the full narrative of global Jewry tracing the roots and history of the Jewish people from all corners of the world and from Biblical times through the establishment of the State of Israel to the present; a central, interactive map of Jewish migrations and journeys across the world; the evolution of Jewish faith, thought and creativity.
The Foundations–A Common Core, A Universal Message Wing (first floor) — This wing explores the conceptual foundations of the Judeo-Christian existence, whether uniquely Jewish or commonly universal. This includes Jewish practice, beliefs and traditions, and the Bible and its influence on world culture, especially as it relates to concepts of justice and liberty.
In recent months the museum developed programs specifically tailored to visitors of all backgrounds, including Christians, that demonstrate and connect visitors to shared Judeo-Christian roots. While creating these programs, the museum consulted extensively with its own Christian Advisory board, consisting of many of the most prominent Christian leaders in North America.
The programs include Introduction to Christian Zionist heroes, The Bible, the covenant, and the Jewish calendar. They examine the history of the Jewish people, the Hebrew language, and traditions and celebrate the rich history of the Jewish house of worship–the synagogue. Additional experiences explore the Ladino Christian community and the history of Sepharad Judaism, including conversos (“the converted”), expulsions, and migrations to the New World.
Continuing the institution’s longstanding commitment to experiential storytelling and innovation, ANU–Museum of the Jewish People utilizes radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to allow visitors to tag favorite experiences or areas they’d like to further discover that will be included in an email sent following their visit. Additionally, the museum — in partnership with Geni.com — has developed a customized app, MJP & Me, that enables users to see if and how they’re related to famous Jews across the ages; and if these icons are part of the exhibition where visitors can find their location in the galleries to learn more about them. Patrons can even discover if they’re related to any other visitors in the museum at that moment, creating immediate personal connection.
ANU–Museum of the Jewish People is open daily, including Saturdays, and until 10 pm on Thursdays. Tours are available in several languages. General admission is 52 NIS / $16 USD for adults and children over five; 26 NIS / $8 USD for seniors; and free for children under five and soldiers in uniform.
For more information about ANU–Museum of the Jewish People, its new core exhibition and all of its programs and offerings (in-person and online), visit www.anumuseum.org.il.
About ANU–Museum of the Jewish People
Anu–Museum of the Jewish People is the world’s largest Jewish museum and the only institution that tells the unique, ongoing story of the Jewish people in its entirety, through the lens of identity, culture and history, as well as the foundations of Jewish life and thought across generations. Founded in 1978, and located in Tel Aviv, the museum serves as a central destination for Jewish discourse, engagement and learning for individuals, families, communities and organizations from Israel and around the world. For more information, visit www.anumuseum.org.il