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“Very interesting museum”

Musee d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaisme
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Paris Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Entry to Over 60 Attractions
Ranked #174 of 1,253 things to do in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Museum of Jewish Art and History is housed in one of the most beautiful historic monuments in the Marais, the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan, built in the 17th century. The museum traces the evolution of the Jewish world via its artistic and cultural heritage, focussing on the history of the Jews in France since the Middle Ages and evoking the communities of Europe and North Africa. Its collection, one of the finest in the world, comprises religious objects, manuscripts, textiles and unique archive documents concerning the Dreyfus Affair. Special importance is given to the Jewish presence in the arts, featuring the painters of the School of Paris (Chagall, Kikoïne, Soutine...) and contemporary artists such Christian Boltanski and Sophie Calle. The museum runs programmes of workshops for children, families and adults, guided tours, lectures, live performances and films throughout the year.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed October 26, 2012 via mobile

It covers a lot of Jewish information- from history to tradition and customs and up to modern day French Jewish people. Loved the Algerian exhibition!

Thank Tal F
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Reviewed October 17, 2012

I was dismayed this had such a steep supplemental charge. I had been to this museum before.
The Algerian history was interesting. The signature visual of the Algerian tallis bags was terrific. And the fan pressnted to Empress Eugenie also wonderful.

1  Thank nycmom22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Hidden down a street filled with Chinese wholesale shops, this beautiful old mansion (the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan) is filled with a treasure trove of Jewish history, both local and more general (excellent exhibits on Ashkenazi / shtetl life, as well as a good collection of Sephardic clothing and artifacts). As with most museums in France, expect to go through strict security (bag screening AND a metal detector) before entering the museum. Once you've purchased a ticket (which either covers just the museum or the museum plus the current exhibition, an extra four euros), be sure to pick up a free audioguide at the coat check counter.

The ground floor contains several large-format photographs of Jewish life in Paris between the wars, as well as stories of deportation. The first floor houses many beautiful examples of illuminated megillah, medieval tombstones, and the history of Jews in Italy from the Renaissance to the 18th century, including fine examples of lifecycle objects, elaborate wedding rings, ketubbot, etc. You'll also find a gorgeous wooden sukkah from 18th-century Austria, and wooden models of shtetl synagogues from Poland and Eastern Europe. The second floor houses Sephardic artifacts from the Maghreb, Ottoman Empire, and the Middle East, as well as a large portion of documents and artifacts pertaining to the Dreyfus Affair and the political and intellectual impact of Judaism in France. There is also a very good research library available.

I also visited the temporary exhibition on Jews in Algeria, which was very moving. After the Algerian war with France and gaining independence in 1962, Algeria began enacting anti-Jewish laws, including taking away their Algerian citizenship, and nearly all remaining Algerian Jews fled to France or Israel. The exhibit traces the cultural life of the Algerian Jews, including family photos, everyday items, and virtual reconstructions of various Algerian synagogues. There’s also a room showing Algerian Jewish impact on popular culture.

The museum's bookstore offers many French-language (and some English-language) books on the Shoah, religious books, and my favorite, cookbooks, including Algerian Jewish cookbooks and memoirs. There was also a good selection of music CDs of various genres, and a few items of jewelry (including Ayala Bar) and Judaica.

I ended my visit by stopping by Rue des Rosiers and wandering the narrow streets filled with Jewish bookshops, Judaica shops, falafel and delis and purchasing Polish cheesecake from Sacha Finkelsztaijn's. The Shoah museum is also nearby. This is definitely worth a visit if you are in Paris.

3  Thank Bundtlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2012

This museum has so much including a great research library. It is basically the history of Judaism and more than other Jewish museums I have visited. Highly recommend if you have any interest in Jewish background. Enjoyed the models of old synagogues from the shtetl days. This is not to be confused with the Shoah museum.

1  Thank jfd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

While not easy to find (street names are not consistent), the Musee d'Art et Histoire Judaisme is a great place to spend a quiet couple of hours. Not over-crowded, this recently rebuilt museum of Jewish history in France has a plethora of interesting documents, art and recreations of important events in Jewish history.

1  Thank limer55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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