MOSAIC: 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 Bistro connects the two buildings.
Jewish Treasures of the Caribbean by Wyatt Gallery
September 20, 2016 – December 11, 2016
This exhibition, by photographer Wyatt Gallery, documents the oldest Jewish synagogues and cemeteries in the Western Hemisphere. Images from the remaining historic Jewish sites in Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, Jamaica, Nevis, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Suriname reveal the significant yet little-known legacy of Judaism in the New World. Once home to thousands of Sephardic Jews from a melting pot of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and other cultures, these dwindling communities now contain only five historic synagogues. The exhibit shows the strength of the Jewish people, the beauty of the culture and raises awareness of the urgent need for preservation and protection of these threatened historical resources.
Synagogues of Cuba
August 19, 2016 – December 11, 2016
Pop-up photography exhibition depicting life in the Jewish community of Cuba today.
Hot Couture: Florida Jews on the Fashion Scene
December 2, 2016 – November 5, 2017
Floridian Jews have been involved in all aspects of the fashion industry, designing, manufacturing and dressing and influencing the local and international scene in all types of clothing from beachwear to ball gowns. From the now- 95 year-old Sylvia Whyte designer, whose children’s clothing brought the likes of Debbie Reynolds, Frank Sinatra and Zsa Zsa Gabor flocking to her Miami Beach store in the 1950s, to an 11 year-old entrepreneur now embarking on her first clothing line incorporating her grandfather’s artwork into her designs, Floridian Jews have created a large footprint on this industry. With iconic brands like Perry Ellis and Chico’s, climate-influenced guayaberas, golf shirts and Florida furriers, to funky wearable art and bikinis and belts made out of local snakeskins, this exhibit will surprise and inspire you!
Stitching History from the Holocaust
December 20, 2016 – March 19, 2017
The captivating story of the dresses that make up this exhibit began decades ago, with a family divided between two continents and two destinies. In the winter of 1939, Paul Strnad, who was living in Prague, wrote to his cousin Alvin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to obtain an affidavit to help him and his wife Hedwig escape the onslaught of Nazi Germany. Paul sent Alvin sketches of Hedwig’s clothing designs, in the hopes that these examples of her work would provide evidence of their financial independence. Despite Alvin’s best efforts to obtain visas for the couple, Paul and Hedy perished in the Holocaust. Years later, the sketches were discovered by Alvin’s family members, and, thanks to the efforts of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Hedy’s drawings were brought to life. Her designs were the height of fashion for 1939, but the clothing also provides a small, yet telling window into the lives of Jews in Prague on the eve of World War II. They also attest to the dynamism of the Prague fashion industry before the Holocaust and reflect the styles of designers in the fashion centers of Europe in the 1930s and 40s. These dresses, recreated from Hedy’s sketches, serve to recreate Hedy’s life, but they also reveal another significant story. Along with the loss of six million Jewish lives, the Holocaust extinguished an incalculable amount of talent and creativity. As the New York Times review of this award-winning exhibit states, “The fashions are both text and textile, a story of life and death told in fabric.” An original exhibit created by and on loan from Jewish Museum Milwaukee