Skirball Cultural Center

Museum in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood & Westwood

Although it is, technically speaking, the country’s largest Jewish museum and cultural center, the Skirball has something for all. The preschool set can board a gigantic wooden Noah’s Ark, while grown-ups gravitate to the permanent exhibit, an engagingly presented romp through 4000 years of history, traditions, trials and triumphs of the Jewish people.

This includes displays explaining Jewish holidays and a replica mosaic floor from an ancient synagogue.

A busy events schedule features celebrities, Hollywood moguls and fine thinkers in panel discussions, lectures, readings and performances. Rotating exhibits are often intriguing (recent offerings include a retrospective of the music and cultural influences of singer-songwriter Paul Simon), and the center lures some fantastic world-music acts for its free summertime sunset concerts, held on Thursdays from late July to late August.