The Jewish Museum of New Jersey serves as an important center for Jewish cultural life in Newark. Founded in 2003 and opened in 2007, it is housed in the Ahava Shalom synagogue, the oldest continuously active synagogue in the city. The museum is the state's first centralized museum devoted to Jewish history. It features permanent, rotating and traveling exhibits that explore various topics of Jewish history including Jewish immigration to the state, the role New Jersey Jews played in the Civil Rights Movement, and the stories of local Holocaust survivors. The museum also offers inter-faith programming that promotes cultural understanding and tolerance. A highlight of the synagogue itself is its beautiful carved mahogany ark, which is the oldest in the state. The synagogue was built 1923 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  • The Jewish Museum of New Jersey opened in 2007 in the historic Ahavas Shalom synagogue.
    The Jewish Museum of New Jersey opened in 2007 in the historic Ahavas Shalom synagogue.

The idea for the museum originated from former Board President Joseph Selzer who visited the Jewish Museum of Florida (which was also housed in a synagogue) and recognized that Newark, which has the fourth largest Jewish population in the country, needed a museum as well. 

The congregation was established in 1905 and grew to become one the city's 50 Jewish congregations.

"About Us." Jewish Museum of New Jersey. Accessed June 23, 2018.  http://www.jewishmuseumnj.org/id1.html.

Zakalak, Ulana D. "Ahava Shalom." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. December 13, 2000.  https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/33cbc269-22ce-49d1-b45d-2cb3948422b7.