Jewish Museum of Florida
Having expanded into Miami Beach's first synagogue built in 1929, this cultural and historical museum occupies two historic Art Deco buildings—the Beth Jacob Social Hall (1929) and Synagogu (1935)—decorated with chandeliers, sconces and more than 75 stained glass windows. The two buildings were added, as one site, to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 for their significance to the Jewish community and architecture. The museum's core exhibit, "MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida," tells the story of nearly 250 years of Jewish life in Florida. In addition to permanent collections, the museum also hosts many traveling exhibits, including the art of Matatiaou, portraits of Jewish personalities, and this history of anti-Semitism. The museum store sells books, memorabilia and ceremonial items for Jewish holidays and events.
Backstory and Context
The Jewish Museum of Florida carries the proud role of being one of the most significant collectors and curators of the Florida Jewish experience from when Jews were first allowed to settle in the area back in 1763.
First opening its doors in 1995, the museum’s dedication toward multi-cultural education and demonstrations via exhibitions, public programs, and archival materials and its passionate way of contextualizing the challenges of the immigrant experience led the museum to its accreditation in 2002 by the American Association of Museums.
Beginning in 2012, the Jewish Museum of Florida has been partnered with the with Florida International University.
Permanent and Temporary Exhibits
Before the museum had a permanent location, a few exhibits sponsored by MOSIAC traveled throughout the United States. One of the most popular exhibits throughout the museum is the “MOSIAC: Jewish Life in Florida,” which captures the original dedication of MOSIAC while giving an in-depth view into the immigrant lifestyle from the first Jewish immigrants to Florida to the modern-day Jewish experience.
In addition to this exhibit, the museum also features a variety of temporary history and art exhibits. Some of the other permanent exhibits at the museum include a Timeline Wall of Jewish History, a film depicting the Jewish history of Florida, and its massive Collections and Research Center that continually grows and is used by scholars, historians, journalists, and families.
Due to this wide variety of this interactive and profoundly educational collection, the Jewish Museum of Florida caters to tens of thousands visitors every year.1
"Museum History." Florida International University. Accessed on June 17, 2014. http://jmof.fiu.edu/about/museum-history.