Located in Miami Beach, the Jewish Museum of Florida is actually two buildings that are connected to one another. Both of the buildings that comprise the Jewish Museum of Florida are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A Bistro now connects the two buildings and provides an interesting look into the beautiful Miami night sky.
The Museum is able to offer visitors a look into all of the great history that has been a part of the Jewish community in the state of Florida. As south Florida has a rather large Jewish community, it seems as though Miami Beach would be the perfect location for a structure dedicated to enlightening everyone on the strides that were made by Jewish Floridians in the past.
Many different artifacts and historic pieces can be found in the Museum, as they serve to chronicle momentous occurrences in Jewish history. Items that help explain what Jewish people were going through at the time of the Holocaust is one of the main areas that the Museum covers. It provides an overview of their thoughts, musings, and experiences which are central to the understanding of Jewish culture.
The smaller of the two adjacent buildings was actually the first synagogue that was built in the Miami area back in 1929. The size of the congregation, however, rendered it too small for comfortable worship, so the much bigger structure next door was built to accommodate all of the people who were looking for a religious experience. In 2005, this smaller synagogue, which had not been used for many years, was purchased by the Jewish Museum of Florida so they could expand their collections and provide more of the rich Jewish culture that had become such an important part of defining the state of Florida.
The larger of the two adjacent buildings was constructed only seven years after the original synagogue was built because there was just too much demand in Miami for Jewish worship services. It has since been restored to include more of an art decor theme, but it still maintains the original stained glass windows that were a part of the building when it was first constructed. Nearly 80 windows adorn the walls of the Museum now as a testament to the wonderful working of early 20th-century Jews.
The Jewish Museum of Florida affords so many residents and visitors the opportunity to explore the great culture that Jewish people were able to create in Miami in the early 20th-century. With documents, photographs, and extremely rare pieces of Jewish history, the Museum is able to capture the spirit of what it means to be Jewish in the state of Florida.
Jewish Museum of Florida
301 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139-6906
Photo credit: alesh_