Jewish Museum London History
To open Jewish Museum in the heart of English capital sounds a little strange, but only to those, who don’t know the history. In fact, Jews came to England long ago, in the 12-13th century. They were invited by kings, because they were good in the sphere of finance and simply made the English kings richer. Jewish communities used to live in every big English city. There are many famous Englishmen, which are original Jews. Due to all these reasons in London in 1932 Jewish Museum was opened.
The museum has difficult fate, like the nation, it has been devoted to. It was founded by Jewish community in Bloomsbury. Later another branch of this museum was founded at Sternberg Center. But the branch was closed in 2007, because it was too expensive to maintain it.
The other branch of Jewish Museum was closed for reconstruction and finally, in 2009 it was opened again.
It was possible due to grant that was received from “Heritage Lottery Fund”. Its amount was £4.2 millions. Some part of this amount was received from individuals as a donation. So, this solid sum was spent for great reconstruction of the museum. The exhibitions of the museum became much wider and the amount of items in collections doubled. Nowadays many guests all over the world come here to study the culture of Jewish nation and their problematic history.
Nowadays Jewish Museum has much larger collections of exhibits. This fact caused the increasing of popularity of the museum. People, who are interested in the history of the Jewish community in Britain, come here from Germany, Israel, China, USA and many other countries. Jewish live in most of European countries, that’s why the museum, devoted to Jewish community, remains the popular place of interest for tourists.
The exhibitions in the museum are connected with two aspects of Jewish life. The first one is the exploration of history of this nation. The other aspect is connected with culture and art of Jews. And if the first expect is interesting mostly to specialists, the other one will be interesting to anyone, who is fond of art and likes to see beautiful things, created by talented authors.
The museum offers a large collection of prints, paintings, drawings and a huge photo archive, which contains photos of 1900-1940-ies. All these pieces of art were created by Jews or were devoted to their great nation and its unhappy fate.
In general, Jewish Museum is divided into four exhibitions. There are three permanent exhibitions here. They are multimedia exhibition, Jewish history exhibition and the Holocaust. And the fourth gallery in the museum contains temporary exhibits.
A Day at the Jewish Museum London
Many tourists are the fans of multimedia gallery. There you can see on the big display the films about Jews, who lived in Great Britain and became popular in this country. These people have two motherlands – they are Jews by their origin, but at the same time they are British and they brought glory to this country. Such famous “British Jews” are Ben Gelfgotta – Britain’s champion of weightlifting. He has managed to survive at the Nazi concentration camp. The other popular Jew in Britain is the taxi driver who took part in the Arab-Israeli war. If you visit multimedia gallery, you will also know about Chinese woman, who has accepted Judaism and many other popular Jewish people in Great Britain.
The second gallery opens to its visitors the main stages of formation of Jewish community in Great Britain. This exhibition contains many items, connected with Jewish history. The most valuable among them is the ancient Torah scroll. It was made by the jeweler of George III.
The exhibition, devoted to Holocaust and the last one, temporary exhibition, also tell the visitors about Jewish nation and its complicated history. Temporary exhibitions change from time to time, so if you are interested in the exhibition “Your Jewish Museum Journeys” it is better to hurry up, as it is closed on the 11th of September. This exhibition is called “Journey”, because it travels all over the world and before it has stopped in Great Britain, it visited such countries as Yemen, Jamaica and others. All the artifacts from this collection are connected with Jewish nation. If you have made up your mind to see this collection or any other collection in museum, you should know about its admission and opening hours!
The admission is free for so called friends of the museum (the members of Museum association and some others). For adults the ticket will cost £7.50. For children from 5 to 16 the price is much lower – it is just £3.50. If you are a family of four (two children and two adults), you may get a discount and buy the family ticket for £18.
As for opening hours, Jewish Museum is opened every day of the week from 10:00 till 17:00. On Fridays it is opened till 14:00. The last visitors are accepted in 30 minutes before the closing time.
The museum is opened even on holidays. The exception is Christmas. The intuition is closed on the 25th of December and on the 1st of January. It is not hard to find Jewish Museum even for those, who are not the locals.
How to Get to Jewish Museum London
The address of Jewish Museum is Raymond Burton House, 129-131, Albert Street, London NW1 7NB. It is not hard to find the building of the museum and it is accessible by bus, by underground and by car.
The nearest underground station is in 5 minutes walk from the museum. Get off at Camden Town Underground station to come here. There are several car park stations around the museum. Thus you can leave your vehicle at parking of Albert Street or at the underground parking.
Jewish Museum London Shop and Restaurants
Many people come to the museum from different parts of Great Britain or even from abroad. Of course, they spend a lot of time here and need to have some rest. That’s why café works just on the territory of the museum. Keep in mind, that café is closed on Saturdays, so if you come with children on this day here, make sure, that you have provided them for a snack.
If you visit Jewish Museum Café, you can expect great coffee, lots of cakes and other sweet things. Kosher food only is served here!
If you want to buy something for yourself and your relatives, come to the shop that is situated in the museum too. Many gifts are affordable here, so you can get Jewish cards, jewelry, toys for children and many other interesting and memorable things.
Jewish Museum is the attempt to attract attention of the society to such a talented and at the same unhappy nation as Jews. It is not just interesting to learn some points from their history. It is absolutely necessary to understand their culture and their love to the second motherland – Great Britain that became native to millions of Jews!
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