Current Museum Exhibits

ImageMOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida

(Core Exhibit - Ongoing)

More than 500 photos and artifacts depict the Jewish experience in Florida since 1763, reflecting a thematic presentation of immigration, community development, discrimination, earning a living, acculturation and identity. Personal artifacts, films, photos, timeline and contemporary art attract a universal audience by telling the universal story of immigration as the example of the acculturation process of every family and provide an engaging, up close museum experience. The Museum is housed in two former synagogues that served as the first congregation on Miami Beach. The primary building is a restored 1936 Art Deco building with a copper dome, marble bimah and 80 stained-glass windows. The second building is the original 1929 shul. The skylighted Bessie's Gallery connects the two buildings.

The Art of the Lithograph

November 7, 2018- March 3, 2019

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The scope of the exhibit will explore the history of the lithography process, taking the visitor from lithography stones to off-set and computer-to-plate printing. The exhibition will feature prints from Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jim Dine, Don Eddy, R.B. Kitaj, Lee Krasner, Roy Lichtenstein, and Camille Pissarro to name a few. The prints are striking lithographs that are not only excellent examples of the process but exciting pieces by historically important and diverse artists as well. Visitors will be able to view actual litho stones and see the extraordinary step-by-step process of what it takes to make a lithograph.

Kaddish for Dąbrowa Białostocka: Images by Mark Podwal

January 3, 2019 - March 3, 2019

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Although for many years I had wanted to visit Dąbrowa Białostocka, the shtetl in Poland where my mother was born, I never planned on creating a series of artworks about Dąbrowa. Ultimately, an incentive to visit Dąbrowa came from its mayor’s invitation to participate in a conference on the history of the town’s Jews. The visit on May 24, 2016 resulted in a series of drawings in acrylic and colored pencil, completed over thirty days following my visit. There are eighteen images, a significant number, meaning chai, or “life” in Hebrew.

In essence, this series is a visual diary of my journey to Dąbrowa. The drawings are based on what I saw in the town and what I heard from elderly residents as they reminisced about their former Jewish neighbors while filmed by Tomasz Wisniewski for his documentary The Absent Family: Reading the Ashes – Following in the Footsteps of the Jews of Dąbrowa. Although Dąbrowa was once 75 percent Jewish, no Jews currently live there.

In 1941, the Germans burned Dąbrowa Białostocka to the ground. Yet the images presented in Kaddish for Dąbrowa Białostocka do not focus on the Holocaust. Like a kaddish – a mourning prayer – they honor something precious that is gone by portraying a vanished world of Jewish shtetl life in pre-World War II Poland. Incorporating themes characteristic of Poland, this series is the unique artistic imaginings of my Polish roots.