While the history of American Jews can be traced back to the 18th century when Jews were first allowed in Florida, the Jewish Museum of Florida seeks to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of this community. Ideal for tourists to gain an insight into the context of a local community in Florida as well as for locals, the Museum seeks to share the experience of the immigrants through exhibitions as well as other archived exhibits that demonstrate the difficulties faced by the Jews. This endeavour prides itself on its ability to re-interpret the immigrant experience as it connects to the present as well as the United States of America. Located on Washington Avenue, the Museum is easily accessible via any hotel that lies on the coastal belt such as the Metropolitan by COMO Miami Beach which is only ten minutes from the Museum.
The Jewish Museum was opened to the public almost twenty years ago in 1995 and has received accreditation twice in 2002 and in 2011 by the American Association of Museums. Since its inauguration, the Museum has expanded and partnered with other entities to enhance the experience.
While the Museum displays a series of exhibits, its core exhibit titled ‘MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida’ is perhaps its most universal exhibit. This exhibit includes a Timeline Wall, over six hundred photographs that recount Jewish rituals, education, discrimination and history, audio visual presentations on Jewish history and so on. While it demonstrates and re-tells the lives, struggles and challenges faced by the Jewish immigrants three centuries ago, it also echoes challenges faced by all immigrants seeking to settle in a new country or place. Therefore, this exhibit as well as the entire Museum itself, echoes sentiments that almost all immigrants can identify with and relate to, making it an enriching experience.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.