Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA Museum Professions

Department

Communication and the Arts

Advisor

Susan K. Leshnoff

Keywords

Museums, Jewish museums, Jewish art, Jewish traditions, Multi-cultural

Abstract

As American society becomes more diverse, issues of ethnic self· consciousness are increasingly prevalent. This can be witnessed by the national expansion and development of ethnic museums. At least twenty-five museums representing different ethnicities are located in New York City alone. These museums reach out to their own constituency as a celebration of heritage and culture. In an effort to educate others and foster a greater understanding and appreciation of their culture, they also reach out to a diverse multi-cultural audience. Following suit, Jewish museums attract a diverse audience representing a variety of religions and ethnicities. Jewish Museums - A Multi-Cultural Destination explores how this audience is reached through exhibition and education initiatives. By creating broad based programming with multi­ dimensional relevance and appeal, Jewish museums are able to engage the larger community. The following New York City museums were selected as case studies; The Jewish Museum, the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Museum at Eldridge Street. The Jewish Museum is an art museum. the Museum of Jewish Heritage is a Holocaust Memorial and the Museum at Eldridge Street is a restored historic synagogue. Each museum has a different focus, yet they share common themes in an effort to educate a diversity of people about Jewish history and culture.

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