The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia is pleased to announce a range of engaging spring programs for visitors of all ages. The Museum’s fourth annual Freedom Seder Revisited will take place on Wednesday, April 13th. Each year, hundreds of community members of all different backgrounds come together for good conversation and an engaging celebration of freedom and justice. Guests not only hear the stories of what freedom means to others, but share what it means to them. More information below.
The Inhabitants Thereof: Philadelphia Jewish History
Wednesday, April 6, April 20, May 4, and May 18 from 6 pm – 7:30 pm
$90/$75 members/$65 teachers
This four-week class (every other week) is taught by Rabbi Lance Sussman and will explore the sweep of Philadelphia Jewish history. For much of its history, Philadelphia has functioned as the Jewish capital of America. At other times, it has been paradigmatic of the American Jewish experience. In many ways it is a part of the "national" story the Museum is dedicated to exploring.
Weekly topics include:
1. A Revolution in Jewish History: Jewish Patriots and Tories in Philadelphia, 1776-1787
2. The Golden Age of Philadelphia’s Uptown Jewish Community, 1866-1920
3. South Philly: An American Shtetl, 1880-1920
4. Suburban Frontiers: Jewish Life in Philadelphia Since 1960
For more information and to register, please visit NMAJH.org
Second Sunday Family Activities
Sunday, April 10 from 10 am - 3 pm
Free with Museum admission
Visitors can join the Museum for family-friendly activities celebrating freedom and the upcoming holiday of Passover. Families can explore the connections between the Museum’s story of freedom and the Passover story with our Haggadah*-based Passover family guide. They can also engage in hands-on arts and crafts such as creating paper frogs. These activities are suitable for kids of all ages.
*The book read during the Passover meal, telling the story of the holiday.
Conference: Wrestling with Peoplehood
Sunday, April 10 and Monday, April 11
Tickets available at Kaplancenter.org
This conference aims to explore the extent to which "peoplehood," in its many variations, remains a concept of utility and significance to Jewish life. Confirmed speakers include Peter Beinart, Jane Eisner, Irving "Yitz" Greenberg, Shai Held, Sharon Kleinbaum, John Ruskay, and Deborah Waxman. On Sunday evening participants will enjoy a special musical performance by Hankus Netsky, founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band.
Sponsored by The Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood, Temple University’s Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and the Department of Judaic Studies of McGill University.
4th Annual Freedom Seder Revisited
Wednesday, April 13 at 6:30 pm
$36/$25 Members, Kosher dinner included
Registration deadline: March 25
Inspired by the original 1969 Freedom Seder, where hundreds of people of all backgrounds gathered to explore and celebrate freedom in the context of the Civil Rights Movement, this communal event invites guests to the Passover table for an evening of commemoration, stories, and community exploration of freedom in America today.
Featured speakers, storytellers, and performers to-date include:
Rev. Dr. Charles L. Howard, University Chaplain, University of Pennsylvania; Rev. Dr. Susan Richardson, Assistant Minister, Christ Church Philadelphia; Romona Riscoe Benson, Director, Corporate Relations, PECO; Lenny Seidman, Tabla, Percussion, Composer, Teacher; JJ Tiziou, Visual Artist & Community Organizer; NMAJH Open for Interpretation Artist-in-Residence; Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Founder and Director of The Shalom Center, and founder and leader of the original 1969 Freedom Seder; and Hani White, Deputy Director, Office of Immigrant Affairs, City of Philadelphia.
Guests can also view the original storyboard sketch from the movie The Ten Commandments, by costume and production designer John L. Jensen, which will be installed in a highlights case on the first floor in honor of Passover and the 60th anniversary of the movie’s release.
For those who will not be able to make it to the actual event, the entire program will be available live online at nmajh.org/freedomseder.
Community Partners to-date: Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, Art Sanctuary, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania, Jews in ALL Hues, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Repair the World: Philadelphia, Taller Puertorriqueño, and The Shalom Center.
Sponsored by PECO. In partnership with First Person Arts.
Media Sponsor: Al Día and The Philadelphia Sunday Sun.
Second Sunday Family Corner
Sunday, May 8 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free with Museum admission
Families are invited to celebrate Mother’s Day at the Museum. They can explore the exhibition with a focus on women in American Jewish history. Kids can listen to stories and create arts and crafts that make great gifts for Mom or other loved ones.
Young Friends C-Suite Speaker Series
Tuesday, May 10 from 12pm – 1pm
$36 per session, Young Friends Members Only
The last in the inaugural Young Friends of NMAJH C-Suite Speaker Series, created to allow young adults to learn from influential leaders, features Mitchell L. Morgan, President and CEO of Morgan Properties, a residential property management company. Seating is extremely limited. A kosher lunch is provided.
Two Americans Who Defied the Nazis
Tuesday, May 10 at 7 pm
Free, Registration Required
Filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky will share excerpts from his upcoming documentary, Two Who Defied the Nazis. His work tells the story of Martha and Waitstill Sharp, an American social worker and Unitarian minister who provided aid to refugees fleeing Nazi persecution.
Presented with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Unitarian Universalist Association
PlayPenn presents a reading of a new play: Schlueterstrasse 27
Monday, May 16
Free, advance registration strongly encouraged
Free, advance registration strongly encouraged
Based on events from the playwright's life, this story follows a woman's search to better understand her family—from the initial discovery of her grandfather's diary at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum all the way to Berlin, Germany. Reading by Andrea Stolowitz.
God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors
Tuesday, May 17 at 7 pm
$8/Free for Members
These stories will inspire and challenge people of all faiths and backgrounds. Speakers include:
Stephanie Butnick, Deputy Editor, Tablet Magazine; Menachem Z. Rosensaft, General Counsel, World Jewish Congress and editor of God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes; and Mark L. Tykocinski, MD, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University and Dean, Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
The National Museum of American Jewish History, located on historic Independence Mall in Philadelphia, brings to life the 360-year history of Jews in America. Tracing the stories of how Jewish immigrants became Jewish Americans, the Museum invites visitors of all backgrounds to share their own stories and reflect on how their histories and identities shape and are shaped by the American experience. An open door for all, NMAJH honors the past and contributes to a better future by sharing the power of imagination and ideas, culture and community, leadership and service, in ways that turn inspiration into action.
The National Museum of American Jewish History is located at 101 South Independence Mall East at the corner of Fifth and Market Streets in Philadelphia. Museum hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am - 5:30 pm. NMAJH is closed most Mondays, including federal holidays and some Jewish holidays. Museum admission is $12.00 for adults, $11.00 for senior citizens and youth, free for children 12 and under, Museum Members, and active military with ID. For more information, visit NMAJH.org or call 215.923.3811.