Museum of Jewish Heritage

Museum in Financial District & Lower Manhattan

Image by Barry Winiker Getty Images

This evocative waterfront museum explores all aspects of modern Jewish identity and culture, from religious traditions to artistic accomplishments. The museum's core exhibition covers three themed floors: Jewish Life a Century Ago, Jewish Renewal and The War Against the Jews – a detailed exploration of the Holocaust through thousands of personal artifacts, photographs, documentary films and survivor testimony. Also commemorating Holocaust victims is the external installation Garden of Stones, a narrow pathway of 18 boulders supporting living trees.

The building itself consists of six sides, symbolizing the Star of David and the six million Jews who perished in WWII. Exhibitions aside, the venue also hosts films, music concerts, lecture series and special holiday performances. Frequent, free workshops for families with children are also on offer, while on-site LOX at Café Bergson serves light food, including lox (smoked salmon) in intriguing flavors such as grapefruit and gin and pastrami spice (mains $13 to $16).

The museum is closed on Saturday and major Jewish holidays, so check the website's holiday schedule before visiting. Until renovations are complete (scheduled for spring 2019), only the 2nd-floor exhibit The War Against the Jews is accessible; admission is free during this period.