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National Museum of American Jewish History

The National Museum of American Jewish History, on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore, and celebrate the history of Jews in America. Its purpose is to connect Jews more closely to their heritage and to inspire in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which Americans aspire.

Established in 1976, and situated on Philadelphia's Independence Mall, the National Museum of American Jewish History is the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to exploring and interpreting the American Jewish experience. NMAJH was originally founded by the members of historic Congregation Mikveh Israel, which was established in 1740 and known as the "Synagogue of the American Revolution".

The Museum has long been a vital component in the cultural life of Philadelphia. During the course of its history, NMAJH has attracted a broad regional audience to its public programs, while exploring American Jewish identity through lectures, panel discussions, authors' talks, films, children's activities, theater, and music.

The Museum has displayed more than a hundred exhibitions in its first three decades-plus of existence. As the repository of the largest collection of Jewish Americana in the world, with more than 30,000 objects, NMAJH has developed extensive institutional experience in preservation, conservation and collections management supporting the fulfillment of its mission to preserve the material culture of American Jews.

NMAJH is proud to be a Smithsonian Affiliate. The Museum has access to the Smithsonian Institution's collections and resources, permitting it to borrow artifacts from the Smithsonian’s estimated 142-million-piece collection – from colonial Judaic artifacts and historic documents to fine art and objects of contemporary significance – to be shown as part of special exhibitions or to be incorporated into our core exhibition. This affiliation also allows the Museum to take advantage of the Smithsonian’s educational resources and expertise in the areas of conservation, collections care and exhibit development for both staff training and consultation. The National Museum of American Jewish History is able to call upon Smithsonian experts to present programs on behalf of the Museum, as has already been done with great success. Members have the opportunity to become Smithsonian Affiliate members at a minimal additional cost.

How to get there

Hop the Market-Frankford Line to 5th Street/Independence Hall or Routes 17, 33, 38, 44, or 57.

Fare

There are many ways to get here on SEPTA, there are also many ways to pay. Click here to learn which fare is best for you.

Hours

Hours and admission info here.

Upcoming Local Happenings
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Indigenous Peoples Weekend

Museum of the American Revolution

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Weekend weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution. Get there on SEPTA. Short walk from Jefferson Station or ride SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line to 5th Street/Independence Hall Station. Bus Routes 5, 9, 17, 21, 33, 38, 42, 44, 48, 57, and 121 also stop near the museum.

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Museum of Illusions

Old City

Believe half of what you see. The Museum of Illusions opens a Philadelphia outpost in Old City on Saturday, 3/12, joining existing locations in Toronto, Paris, Chicago and New York. With over 80 exhibits meant to trick the eye, the attraction delights visitors with holograms, stereograms and optical illusions, all the while teaching about vision, perception and the human brain. Get here on SEPTA. Short walk from Jefferson Station or ride SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line to 5th Street/Independence Hall Station. Bus Routes 5, 9, 17, 21, 33, 38, 42, 44, 48, 57, and 121 also stop near the museum.

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Old city fest

Old City Fest

Old City

This celebration in the streets of America’s most historic square returns after a three-year hiatus. This Sunday, expect a festival stage with live music, a family fun zone, a bevy of pay-as-you-go food and beverage options from Old City faves, and hand-crafted goods from local designers, retailers and galleries. Don't even think about driving! Hop the Market-Frankford Line to 2nd Street or Routes 5, 9, 17, 33, 42, or 57. 

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Betsy ross house

Spooky Twilight Tours

Betsy Ross House

The home of Revolutionary-era icon Betsy Ross plays up Philly’s grisly past during special twilight tours this October. Gather in the courtyard to hear tales about bloodletting, smallpox, yellow fever (and the general ickiness of life in 18th-century Philadelphia) before taking a shadowy tour of the pint-sized property. Note: Because of some queasy content, these tours are not recommended for small children. Short walk from 2nd Street Station on the Market-Frankford Line or hop Routes 17, 33 or 48.

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The Glass Menagerie

Arden Theatre

The Glass Menagerie is on stage at the Arden Theatre Company from 10/6 thru 11/6. So easy to get here on SEPTA. Hop the Market-Frankford Line to 2nd Street or Routes 5, 17, 33, 48 or 57.  Before you go - check out this Perk - it will save you $10!

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Cherry street

First Friday

Cherry Street Pier

Celebrate First Friday at Cherry Street Pier with open artist studio tours, snacks and drinks to buy, prime views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. So easy to get here on SEPTA. Hop the Market-Frankford Line to 2nd Street or Bus Routes 17, 21, 25, 33, or 42. Click PLAN YOUR TRIP to...plan your trip!

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