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“A Journey through Jewish history”

Musee d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaisme
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$57.91*
and up
Paris 2-Hour Private Walking Tour Including the...
Ranked #107 of 1,327 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 older children, Lockers / storage, Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Reviewed February 22, 2013

A small museum crammed full of French -Jewish history. In addition to historical information, there are beautiful pieces of judaica, original works of art including paintings by Chagall, small models of synagogues and a photo exhibition of modern day Jews living in France and talking about their jewish identities. The museum is on a number of floors, the top level is devoted to the Jews who immigrated from Arab countries and blended their sephardic customs and lifestyles with those of the already existing ashkenazic community [which was largely decimated by the holocaust and revived by this influx of observant Jewery]. Well worth a visit.

Thank maidenbm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"jewish history"
in 28 reviews
"audio guide"
in 16 reviews
"strict security"
in 5 reviews
"anti semitism"
in 4 reviews
"french jews"
in 4 reviews
"important museum"
in 3 reviews
"marais district"
in 7 reviews
"judeo christian"
in 2 reviews
"saint aignan"
in 2 reviews
"free audio"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful artifacts"
in 2 reviews
"from france"
in 3 reviews
"temporary exhibition"
in 4 reviews
"special exhibition"
in 4 reviews
"enjoyable visit"
in 2 reviews
"picasso museum"
in 4 reviews
"centre pompidou"
in 3 reviews
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134 - 138 of 254 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2013

Lots of learning here, lots of history, and what history! What is neat too is the museum's location, i.e. in the Marais, which is the old Jewish ghetto so the spot is doubly meaningful. Visiting the museum you will see replicas of old synagogues and then walking aorund the neighborhood you will also see some interesting synagogues or just study rooms, hassidims wlaking their regular fast pace between hre and there. There are also nice kosher restaurants around. I'd say pay attention to the walls too; you'll see lines of bullet holes in some places and also plaques that commemorate WWII events. In short, there's as much history inside the museum than around it. A great visit.

Thank Chris-From-MD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

This museum is impeccable. There is an abundance of well thought out information (although not much of it is in English so make sure you get an audio guide).

There are so many wonderful artefacts and objects to look at

The museum is huge, so be prepared to spend some time here.

Please note this is not a holocaust museum. I was so happy to learn about actual Jewish history and that the museum doesn't focus so heavily on the holocaust unlike other Jewish history museums I've been to.

Note: this attraction is not open on Saturdays.

Thank kovsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

I was very excited to visit this museum and its special exhibit on Jews from Algeria. I easily could have spent the whole day here, but because that wasn't an option I felt pressed for time! I would definitely recommend getting the audio guide (it was free) because it made selected pieces more special after hearing more about them. I would also recommend looking at the special exhibition first because by the time I got to it I only had about 30 minutes before I had to leave to go somewhere else and I didn't feel as though I spent enough time there. I would love to go back and spend the whole day at this museum!

1  Thank laysadc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 1, 2013

We were thrilled that it was open (we went there on the day preceding Simchat Torah (a Jewish Holy day in October 2012 commemorating the giving of the sacred Torah on Mt Sinai). We had been touring the Marais and hoped that it would be open as several places in the area were closed because it was in between Succott and Simchat Torah (10 days of religious significance involving the 2 holidays).

The Museum was a former castle/mansion of sorts. The exhibits are very informative, and try very hard to be a "Jewish history/explanation/wikipedia for Dummies". Please read this as "Everything you wanted to know about Judaism, But were afraid to ask", or "Jewishness 101".

That being said, its intent is very nice. The artifacts are appropriately laid out with explanations. My negativity comes from the fact that at several exhibits, and their commentary flew in the face of my upbringing/historical Judaic training and reality.

It stretched/skewed several things. But not to the point of going ballistic.

Was I glad this this place exists? ABSOLUTELY.
Would I want it closed down. NO WAY!!!!!
For the uninformed or non-chabbad mentality, it does provide an overview that is palatable and does fill in several gaps.

The place is a treasure to visit. Especially in France. Security is not only appropriate prior to entry, but reassuring considering the realities of the times.

We were glad to see it, to know that it exist, and to be able to have others be able to witness the historic relics and connectivity that was there.

There is an expression used at the Passover Seder "Dyanu". A reasonable translation would be, "it will suffice!" That being said, I am glad that this place is there in Paris and continues to thrive. It need to.

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

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