This was my first visit to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio and I wish I had not waited so long. The museum is highly informative and impressive, but it’s more than that, it will not only open your mind it will open your heart.
The museum weaves a beautiful picture of Jewish settlers, their hardships and successes, from humble beginnings. In 1839, a small group of only 15 men and woman, leaving behind the persecution in Bavaria, came to Cleveland, Ohio to begin a new life. Life was not always easy here in Cleveland either, but the hope for a chance at great opportunities.
Below is the touching story of the Alsbacher Document. A letter written in 1839 by Lazarus Kohn, a teacher in Unsleben, Bavaria, it was addressed to Moses & Yetta Alsbacher and the group that would accompany them to Cleveland. Lazarus Kohn gave them words of prayer and warning, advising them never to forget their Jewish Heritage in their new found freedom of America. This document is the only one it’s kind to have survived over the centuries.
The most important aspect of their Jewish life in America is that they kept their Jewish faith strong and that can be seen throughout the Jewish community in Ohio today.
One article cannot possibly cover everything in the museum, but I have highlighted a few. The museum is interactive with videos and computers detailing everything from famous Jewish entertainers, sports figures, and even the cartoon creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, both from Cleveland, Ohio!
And of course, World War II and the horrors of the holocaust are reflected upon in great detail. At the time of my visit there was an exhibit of the hunt, capture, and trial of Adolph Eichmann titled “Operation Finale”. The exhibit showcased many of the original maps and notes detailing every day of this extraordinary and gripping arrest. You can watch the actual videos of Eichmann’s trial that were broadcast throughout the world.
Part of the museum is the Temple-Tifereth Gallery which highlights Menorahs, Torah scrolls, books, and religious artifacts from all over the world. These pieces are stunning!
Hanukkah Lamp from Poland
Miniature Torah Ark…1859 Ukraine
The museum is enthralling, educational, and definitely memorable. Allow several hours to take it all in. There is a museum store that offers one-of-kind gifts, trendy accessories, and books & dvd’s.
*****Thank you to Robyn at the reception desk who was so helpful on my visit.
Maltz Museum information: http://www.maltzmuseum.org/
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