The Unique and Ongoing Story of the Jewish People
The Core Exhibition takes visitors on a journey across eras and lands of Jewish life exploring the unique story of the Jewish continuity, creativity and unity in diversity. The exhibition uses murals, reconstructions, dioramas, audio-visual displays, documentary films and interactive multi-media presentations to convey the panorama of the Jewish people.
The exhibition is divided into six thematic sections:
The Family Section
The Family section welcomes visitors with a colorful slide show of hundreds of photographs of contemporary Jews from all parts of the world,
and depicts profound elements of Jewish life such as Jewish lifecycle events, holidays, festivals and fasts.
Photo: Yemenite bride and groom in traditional wedding costumes. Israel, 1978. Photographer: Micha Bar-Am
The Community Section
The Community section offers an intriguing exploration of the infrastructure Jewish communal life over the generations, including a 13th century model of Jewish Community model.
Model Artist: Derek Frieborne, England
The Memorial Column
The Memorial Column, a commanding artistic depiction of Jewish martyrdom suspended from the ceiling in the central area of the building, reflects the complexity of translating abstract concepts into tangible form and symbolizes the theme of Jewish survival amid persecution and death. Scrolls of Fire symbolizes persecution in Jewish History.
The Faith Section
The Faith section features the Beit Hatfutsot world-renowned display of eighteen miniature synagogue reproductions, providing a provocative, detailed and historically accurate portrait of synagogue culture and architecture from across Jewish history throughout the ages and across the global spectrum.
Photo: Replica of a painted ceiling of a wooden synagogue in Chodorov, Ukraine. Built in the middle of the 17th century, it was decorated by Israel Ben Mordecai Lisnicki of Jaryczow in 1714. A crowned twin-headed eagle is seen in the center of the ceiling, enclosed in a decorated circle with a quotation from Deuteronomy around it. The central motif of the ceiling is the wheel of Zodiac.
The Culture Section
The Culture section portrays a riveting panoply of Jewish thought and creativity, with a central wall illustrating the evolution of Jewish intellectual life from the period of the Second Temple to the present, and depictions of Jewish art, Jewish languages and contributions of renowned Jews to world civilization.
Photo: Sculpture of the Torah scribe (“Sofer Stam”), hunched over his workbench where he prepares Torah scrolls, phylacteries, and parchments for the Mezzuzah.
Among the Nations
“Among the Nations” section features a collection of 13 stations reflecting the interaction between Jews and their host environments, retracing the path of the Jewish people from Eretz Israel back to the State of Israel, and highlighting the reciprocal relationship between Jews and their environment, such as in the struggle for civil rights and in their relations with their hosting society.
Photo: Wall of the “Golden Age” in Spain.
Return to Zion
The “Return to Zion” section presents a series of visual images that demonstrate the yearning of the Jews for the land of their forefathers throughout centuries until the founding of modern political Zionism and highlight the waves of immigration leading up to the creation of the State of Israel.
Photo: “Wherever I go, I am going to Eretz Israel” (Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav)