History - (Versão em português aqui)

The Jewish Museum of Rio de Janeiro

The Jewish Museum of Rio de Janeiro, founded in 1977, is a dynamic cultural center, integrated into the city's life, that promotes activities to display and honor Jewish culture. It houses permanent exhibitions about the history of the Jewry of Rio de Janeiro and Jewish traditions in all aspects - religious, cultural, and historical. It organizes special exhibitions, seminars, and events on different themes connected to Judaism and Jews both at the Museum and in other institutions. It fosters academic research about immigration and sponsors annual writing contests for students. The Museum has also a Study Center, with research on Jewish immigration and the development of the local community. It supports an important project of Oral History and the Holocaust, and maintains a video collection with more than 1,000 titles and a thematic library. The Brazilian Jewish Historical Archive is represented in Rio de Janeiro by the Jewish Museum.

The Museum was created as a response to the need of Rio's Jewish community to save and preserve its history and culture. Although the presence of Jewish individuals in the city has been recorded since the 1830's, the community's presence emerged in the early 20th century. It has changed continuously with successive migratory waves, each leaving their mark through objects, documents, books, and photographs. These represent an ancestral culture and a source of inspiration and knowledge that following generations have endeavored to preserve.

Founded by three couples of the community - Naum and Ester Kosovsky, Jorge and Bella Jozef and Chaim and Rosa Szwertszarf - the Museum has moved twice, and since 1986 it has been located on Rua México, near the National Library and the Municipal Theater, in Downtown Rio.

One of the Museum's main attractions is the Feldman Collection, composed of 69 Hanukkah lamps and other objects made by artisan and collector Joseph Feldman (Russia, 1899 - Rio, 1978) - replicas of old European pieces. The Holocaust is also represented by a collection of photographs, documents, and objects related to the tragedy(such as a complete concentration camp uniform). There is also a special library on this subject.



President 2006/2007: Max Nahmias

Past Activities (2005-2006):

Screening of the documentary film, "Memories of Prisoner Number.1327", in association with the Polish Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro, April 2005.

"Music and Dance Festival", May 2005.

3rd Yiddish Film Festival - 2005, at the Clube Israelita Brasileiro,August - September 2005.

Exhibition: "Janusz Korczak - A Legacy for Humanity", with a discussion group on "The Life and Work of Janusz Korczak", and screening of "The 200 Children of Janusz Korczak", at the Casa de Cultura Laura Alvim, August -November 2005.

Colloquy: "Memory and Ashes - Voices of Silence", in collaboration with the Jewish Studies Program of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), August 2005.

Exhibition: "In a New Spirit - The Synagogues of Alfred Jacoby", in collaboration with the German Consulate and the Goethe Institute, at the National Historical Museum, September 2005.

Centennial tribute honoring Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti (1905-1994), with conferences on his work, October 2005.

Tribute to Albert Einstein on the 50th anniversary of his death and the centennial of the publication of the Theory of Relativity, with a Special Exhibition, conferences and screening of documentary, November 2005.

Exhibition: "The Fountain", with screening of the video, "Inside the Walls of Jerusalem" and discussion group on "The significance of the City of Jerusalem to Monotheism", in collaboration with the Israeli Embassy, April -May 2006.

Celebration: "Memorial to the Victims of the Holocaust: against Intolerance and Discrimination", in collaboration with the Jewish Studies Program of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Uerj), at the University Ecumenical Chapel, May 2006.

Seminar: "The Life and Work of Hannah Arendt" on the centennial celebration of her birthday, May 2006.

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