MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida

Prior to 1984, no one had researched or documented the history of the Florida Jewish experience. The MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida Project organized grassroots research in communities across the state to collect oral histories, photographs, documents and artifacts that depicted when and why Jews came to Florida, what they did for a living, family life, the organizations they created to ensure Jewish continuity, how they contributed to every area of the development of Florida and how they interacted with their communities.

The result was the MOSAIC exhibit that traveled to 13 communities from 1990–1994.

The excitement generated by the MOSAIC exhibit led to the creation of the Jewish Museum of Florida in 1995. In 1996, the MOSAIC core exhibition was installed. This was basically the traveling exhibit, reformatted to adapt to the museum building and with continuing updates. This MOSAIC exhibition was taken down in 2020 and can be seen virtually below.

Chief Curator: Marcia Jo Zerivitz

Associate Curator: Laura Hochman

Pocket watch with Hebrew numerals, owned by George Dzialynski, who was born and died in Jacksonville (1857–1937). George was the first boy born in Florida to a Jewish family that planted roots in the state by 1850. The Dzialynski family is the longest continuing Jewish family in Florida. There are seventy-five descendants into the eighth generation in Florida.