MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida

(Core Exhibit - Ongoing)

Image 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.


Mark Podwal: All This Has Come Upon Us

On view through March 13, 2016

Artist, author and illustrator Mark Podwal, is best known for his drawings on The New York Times OP-ED page. The exhibit features archival pigment prints of Podwal’s drawings and paintings of historical threats of antisemitism, combined with verses from the Book of Psalms. Each image in this series depicts a tragedy or injustice in Jewish history, from slavery in Egypt through the Holocaust. According to Podwal, “the paintings and drawings in this series are a disturbing reminder of how Europe’s extensive history of ‘Jew-hatred’ laid the groundwork for Terezin and Auschwitz."


Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage

On view through March 6, 2016

This exhibition details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community in Iraq from a flooded basement in Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters, and the National Archives' recovery work in support of U.S. Government efforts to preserve and make these materials available. The materials include more than 2,700 Jewish books and tens of thousands of documents in Hebrew, Arabic, Judeo-Arabic and English, dating from 1524 to the 1970s. Exhibit highlights include 23 original items, such as a Hebrew Bible with commentaries from 1568 – one of the oldest books found; Babylonian Talmud from 1793; Torah scroll fragment from Genesis - one of the 43 Torah scroll fragments found; and lunar calendar in both Hebrew and Arabic from the Jewish year 5732 (1971-1972) - one of the last examples of Hebrew printing in Baghdad. Visitors can also view a fascinating "behind the scenes" video of the painstaking conservation process. The Jews of Iraq have a rich past, extending back 2,500 years to Babylonia; today, only a few Jews are known to remain in the country. This exhibit provides the opportunity to preserve and display the rich cultural heritage of this now-extinct community.
This exhibition was created by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, with generous support from the U.S. Department of State. Local support received from Congregation Beth Jacob. More information is available at