The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City also calls itself A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Even though I feel that there is much more Jewish Heritage than that, I had this place rather up on my list when my wife and I visited Manhattan in October 2022. Here is my review.
Museum of Jewish Heritage – Location & Admission
The Museum of Jewish Heritage is close to Battery Park at the Southern tip of Manhattan. There are some touristic sights just a few steps away, like the Skyscraper Museum, the American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial or the ferries from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty. The next Subway station is Bpwling Green, which is served by lines 4 and 5. Other options are Rector Street and Whitehall St (N, R, W) as well as South Ferry (line 1). There is also a bus stop right in front of the museum.
The museum is opening on Wednesday to Fridays and Sundays. Opening times are 10:00 to 17:00. On Thursdays, there is a prolonged opening time on Thursdays until 20:00. Adult admission is 18 USD. The museum is also accepting some of the city passes. My wife and I, for example, used the New York Sightseeing Pass.
Museum of Jewish Heritage – The Visit
From the very beginning of your visit, you understand, how the museum wants to become a Living Memorial. There are a lot of pictures, testimonials and original items in display. Nonetheless, the museum is also giving you also a very structured overview of the Nazi uprising, the installation of the ghettos and the systematic killing of Jews. You learn a lot about the history by learning about the people, which turns it into a very impressive place.
Quite a large section of he museum is also about how Nazi Germany was organized and how the propaganda took place. Especially in this part and in later section dealing with the concentration and extermination camps like Auschwitz, Dachau oder Bergen-Belsen, video testimonials are very impressive. The museum thereby does not feel to be pushing too hard into one direction – it is impressive and shocking by presenting the facts and by reflecting the emotions of the people, especially Jewish population, of course. During our visit there was a Jewish grandmother with her maybe some ten year old granddaughter – if you visit this place with such young kids, you should definitely at least prepare them well to what they see. I would not at all feel comfortable about it.
The Mass Murdering
The last section deals with the holocaust, the camps and how millions of Jews and other people have been systematically murdered. I felt that this section of the museum was really well done. It was very touching and very well documented. You also learn about camp life – which of course also includes death. Last, but not least, the upper floor of the museum also features a gallery of holocaust survivors, which somehow even leaves a bit of a hopeful touch before you leave.
Museum of Jewish Heritage – Services
The staff in the museum was really friendly. The museum is also hosting a kosher restaurant, LOX at Cafe Bergson. Despite located on the second floor, you don’t need a ticket to get there.
Museum of Jewish Heritage – My View
The museum is excellently done. I feel the focus on looking at the people, sharing their memories and having video testimonials is very touching. As said above, I would not recommend to visit the place with small children – but that’s likely something general for all holocaust-related museums and memorials. Absolutely recommend the visit.
Nazi Germany Memorials
Here are all places memorizing about the cruelties during the German Nazi leadership:
USA Museums & Exhibitions