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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.


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 and admission info here.

Upcoming Local Happenings

Liberty Garden

Independence Visitor Center

Check out Philadelphia's newest beer garden - Liberty Garden located across from the Independence Visitor Center at Independence National Historical Park. Ride the Market-Frankford Line to 5th Street or hop Routes 17, 33, 38, 44, 47 or 57.

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The Philly PHLASH

Independance Visitor Center

The Philadelphia PHLASH costs just $2 per person per ride or $5 for an all-day pass. If you have a SEPTA Key - you can ride free!

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First Friday

Old City

Old City's monthly First Friday event showcases the local arts scene from art exhibits to live music. Take the Market-Frankford Line to 2nd Street or 5th Street/Independence Hall Station or take Routes 5, 9, 17, 21, 33, 42, 44, 48, or 57.

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Christ Church Farmers Market

Christ Church

Get ready to stock up on fresh locally grown produce and more because the Christ Church Farmers Market is back on Wednesdays from 3PM - 6PM. Hop the Market-Frankford Line to 2nd Street or Routes 5, 17, 33, or 57.

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Chinese Lantern Festival

Franklin Square

The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival at Franklin Square illuminates the nights now thru 8/18 in the Historic District with dozens of massive, intricate, and handcrafted lanterns. SEPTA Key card holders get $1 off the Parx Liberty Carousel ride. It's a short walk from 5th Street/Independence Hall on the Market-Frankford Line!

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Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest

Delaware River Waterfront

Get ready for roller skating, boardwalk rides, games, mini golf, food/drinks, and more at Independence Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest now thru 9/3. Hop the Market-Frankford Line to 2nd Street or Routes 12, 17, 21, 25, or 42.

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Franklin Square Fountain Show

Franklin Square

The popular free choreographed water and light show runs every weekend - now thru the end of October! Catch it every 30 minutes from noon until closing. It's a short walk from 5th Street/Independence Hall Station on the Market-Frankford Line.

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