Mission Statement

The mission of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is to collect, preserve and interpret the material evidence of the Florida Jewish experience from when Jews were first allowed to settle in 1763 and up to the present and to interpret this history in the context of the American Jewish experience.

We communicate this story to Jews, non-Jews, Florida residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds and examine how Jews form part of a dynamic mosaic of ethnic groups, all seeking to balance the continuity and traditions of their heritage with the values and customs of a larger society. A focus is to explore the richness and diversity of Jewish life, the unique ways in which Florida Jews influence and are influenced by the historic and cultural dynamics of Florida, the nation, and the world, and issues of discrimination against all peoples in Florida over history.

The Museum is dedicated to multi-cultural education and demonstrates through exhibitions, public programs, and a collection of archival materials how the challenges of the immigrant experience are shared by all ethnicities in the diverse State of Florida and the nation.

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU serves its mission by:

1) collecting and preserving for public benefit the material heritage of Jews in Florida.

2) interpreting through exhibitions and educational activities, past, current, and future aspects of Jewish culture in the context of Florida, the nation and the world.

3) 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.

4) maintaining two restored former synagogues, on the National Register of Historic Places, by focusing interest on their place in the Art Deco cityscape and by encouraging the revitalization and renaissance of South Miami Beach for the enrichment of residents and visitors alike.

5) insuring a stable future for the collections, programs, and facilities that comprise Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.

Programs of the Museum

A. EXHIBITIONS

  • core exhibit to relate the Jewish experience in Florida since 1763
  • mount temporary exhibits that expand on core themes
  • host traveling exhibits of Jewish art and history
  • suitcase exhibits and small displays around the state
  • travel our exhibits around state and nation, and to Israel

B. COLLECTIONS AND CONTINUING RESEARCH

  • oral history program
  • digitized archival collection on computer database
  • library and archival files for research
  • annual Judaica Competition
  • loan artifacts to other museums

C. EDUCATION

  • host lectures, films, concerts, dance, theater, puppet shows, topical seminars
  • public relations, radio/TV broadcasts, news/feature articles
  • present lectures for other organizations
  • docent program
  • films on Florida Jewish history
  • student program with lesson plans for each exhibit
  • student writing and art contests and art exhibitions
  • produce lesson plans for Jewish schools
  • professional teacher workshops for credit
  • annual Florida Jewish history month each January
  • annual Jewish American Heritage month each May
  • annual Breaking the Glass Ceiling awards

D. PUBLICATIONS

  • quarterly organizational newsletter, TILES
  • catalog on Florida Jewish History and exhibition catalogs
  • Family Activity Book, "Exploring Florida Jewish History"
  • "Florida Jewish Heritage Trail" (250 Florida Jewish historic sites)
  • contribute articles for scholarly publications
  • publish books and produce films
  • in planning stages: magazine with feature stories on Florida Jewish history; family diaries & oral histories; book on Florida Jewish history & scholarly journal

E. OUTREACH

  • special events; periodic Purim Balls
  • interfaith and interethnic programs
  • local and statewide outreach to nursing homes, synagogues, schools, civic organizations

F. MUSEUM STORE

G. BESSIE'S BISTRO

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