The mission of the Jewish Museum of Florida (JMOF) is to communicate the Florida Jewish experience from 1763 to the present to Jews, non-Jews, Florida residents and visitors alike; and to examine how Jews form part of a dynamic mosaic of ethnic groups, all seeking to balance the traditions of their heritage with the values and customs of a larger society.
The museum explores the richness and diversity of Jewish life and the unique ways in which Florida Jews influence and are influenced by the historic and cultural dynamics of Florida, the nation, and the world.
The Jewish Museum of Florida serves its mission by:
- Collecting and preserving for public benefit the material heritage of Jews in Florida.
- Interpreting through exhibitions and educational activities, past, current, and future aspects of Jewish culture in the context of Florida, the nation and the world.
- Conducting humanities research in both Florida Jewish history and in the general experience of immigration, acculturation, and heritage preservation for all Americans, as reflected in the Jewish experience of Florida.
- Restoring and maintaining a 1936 synagogue, on the National Register of Historic Places, by focusing interest on its place in the Art Deco city scape and by encouraging the revitalization and renaissance of South Miami Beach for the enrichment of residents and visitors alike.
- Insuring a stable future for the collections, programs, and facility which comprise Jewish Museum of Florida.
About The Jewish Museum Of Florida:
Jewish Museum of Florida: Home of MOSAIC is in a former synagogue that housed Miami Beach's first congregation. Built in 1936 and on the National Register of Historic Places, the building -- that underwent a two-year restoration of $1.5 million -- boasts Art Deco features, a copper dome, a marble bimah and 80 stained-glass windows. The museum is much more than a beautiful building. It is a place that mounts and hosts its own and traveling exhibitions; sponsors cultural and educational programs; houses a Collections & Research Center reflecting Florida Jewish history since 1763; and communicates Jewish history, values and issues to Jews and non-Jews alike in an informal manner. It is also a place for Jews of all ages and stripes to discover and reaffirm their rich heritage -- thus helping to strengthen Jewish identity and continuity.
So, how did it all get started? You may already know if you were among the more than quarter-million visitors who viewed the traveling exhibit, "MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida," depicting the Jewish experience in the state from 1763 to present. The exhibition -- a massive statewide undertaking that included gathering photographs, artifacts and oral histories from descendants of pioneer families, as well as paying tribute to the state's more recent arrivals -- traveled to 13 cities from 1990-1994. So much interest was generated by the traveling exhibit, that by 1995, MOSAIC evolved into the Jewish Museum of Florida.
Where the traveling exhibit left off, the Jewish Museum of Florida further delves into the state's rich Jewish history, yesterday and today. Whether your family has lived in Florida for eight generations or arrived this year, you are an important tile in the MOSAIC.
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