Center for Jewish History


The Center for Jewish History is a partnership, or consortium, of five Jewish organizations based in Manhattan. It is a partnership of five organizations of Jewish history, scholarship, and art: the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Center for Jewish History is also an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

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The Center for Jewish History museum's collection includes the original handwritten copy of Emma Lazarus' 1883 "Give me your tired, your poor" poem that was later inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, Sandy Koufax's Brooklyn Dodgers jersey, a letter from Thomas Jefferson to New York's oldest Jewish congregation, the first Hebrew prayer books printed in America, and correspondence from Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and Franz Kafka
The new Center for Jewish History was 125,000 square feet (11,600 m2) and was created from four existing buildings and two new buildings. The Center for Jewish History for Jewish History Center's collections included more than 100 million documents, 500,000 books and thousands of art objects, most of which had been poorly housed in the member institutions and were at risk of damage or destruction. The Center is heavily involved with the preservation of records that define moments in Jewish immigration to New York City. A $670,000 grant awarded in 2007 helped with the cataloging of these materials.