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About us

 
About the Museum
The Museum of Jewish Heritage in Israel lies nestled in the heart of Lod, surrounded by a flourishing Mediterranean garden laden with olive trees, fig trees, grapevines and pomegranates. The small museum is an island of culture and heritage, displaying a vast collection of precious and rare displays of Jewish heritage folklore, particularly that of Jews from Northern Africa. The historically valuable artifacts have been collected from around the world since the Museum opened its doors in 1983. Some artifacts were collected from distant locations, arriving here after many hardships in order to recreate a disappearing world.  
The Museum began in the Habermann Institute for Literary Research, which lies nearby. The theme of the museum and its objects began to take on a life of its own, after knowledge of the Institute began spreading and people from all four corners of the globe began offering their treasures to be put on display. The Museum's location in Lod allows it to stand out as a unique cultural center, and has become part of the community operating in conjunction with city residents, who have contributed many items. As part of this endeavor, a group of elderly women gathered together to repair all items that were woven or that involved delicate embroidery.

  From the Ethiopian Jewry displays: mosaic that depicts the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
 From the Ethiopian Jewry displays: 
mosaic that depicts the story of King
 Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

(Click on the picture to enlarge)

   

A Precious and Rare Collection
The Museum staff diligently strives to identify and acquire unique items for the vast collection. Each room in the museum, dedicated to a different ethnic community, displays that community's traditional dress, accessories for brides, wedding rings, jewelry, various perfumes and medicines, house ware, knickknacks, rugs, woven pictures, paintings, etc. In addition, the displays include various ritual objects, such as Torahs, the Scroll of Esther, menorahs, lamps, Kiddush cups, ornaments for the Torah, curtains as well as crowns and casings for the Torah. The Museum even houses a collection of 100 ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts), including rare Georgian ketubot. 

A Glance at Several Unique Artifacts
The Tunisian Jewish room contains a model of the great synagogue in the city of Tunis, which is still standing to date. When the lights in the windows are turned on, the prayers' liturgies are heard.  In the room dedicated to North African Jewry, one can find a collection of artifacts from Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian Jewry. Particularly impressive is the wedding dress that is woven of entirely of pure gold thread.
The Indian Jewish Community room contains a vast collection of colorful dolls that represent events from everyday life, including the traditional hina ceremony. In a corner dedicated to Bukharan Jewry, we can see the farenja, a garb that covers girls who have reached 12 years old and older, from head to toe.

 שמלת כלה תוניסאית
Tunisian wedding dress
(Click on the picture to enlarge)

   

Continued of the Quick Tour of the Rooms
The room dedicated to Ethiopian Jewry contains a painting that illustrates the stages of the known story of the connection between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. The rooms dedicated to Ashkenazi communities demonstrates bast work that describes life in the city, and be impressed by a traditional Passover Seder table prepared for the holiday. The Bulgarian Jewry room contains plasterwork, including table games such as chess and backgammon while the room dedicated to Russian Jewry contains uniforms and medals of Jewish soldiers who served in the Red Army. In addition, the Museum contains recreations of ancient synagogues in Europe dating before the Holocaust.

Museum Activities
The Museum houses a collection of ethnic poetry and holds folklore events dedicated to the various communities. Participants listen to a lecture on the musical heritage and watch performance of a singer and musical troupe. During holidays, the Museum puts on cultural activities for Russian immigrant senior citizens. The Talgiot Tour Company brings visitors to the Museum. In addition, classes from schools arrive to tour the museum and enjoy activities led by the Museum tour guide.

 Giant Torah crown, made by Zvi Leibel, in celebration of Jerusalem's 3000th year
Giant Torah crown, made by Zvi Leibel, 
in celebration of Jerusalem's 3000th year

   

Habermann Institute for Literary Research
The Habermann Institute for Literary Research is an international scientific institution for culture and literature. It was founded in 1983 by Mrs. Bilha Habermann on behalf of her late husband Prof. A.M. Habermann, a prominent researcher of Hebrew literature and bibliographer. The institute is an NPO that has four aims: academic research of Israeli culture, convention of Northern African and Oriental Jewish heritage, publishing house and distribution of culture and education.

Academic research in the Institution covers the study of Hebrew literature, its history and its branches, the cultural study of Oriental and North African Jewry as well as the study of the Hebrew book and Hebrew bibliography. The Institute, which serves researchers, lecturers and cultural figures, maintains scientific ties, publication exchanges and cooperation with universities, educational institutions, libraries and major research institutes in Israel and around the world.

Three Indian brides wearing the traditional sari 
Three Indian brides wearing
 the traditional sari

   

The Habermann Institute Library
The Institute Library is based on the private collection of the late Prof. Habermann and includes 30,000 items, including books, rare printed material, handwritten manuscripts, microfilm photocopies, letters, documents, special photos and collections.  To this was added books from the private collections of professors, authors and various educators, as well as a collection of archives. The library's main themes are Hebrew and Jewish literature from various ages, the history of printing and the book, humor and global folklore in addition to the Hebrew bibliography.

COJC – Center for Oriental Jewish Culture
This section of the Institute constitutes the only center in the world that specializes in the research of Northern African Jewish literature. The Institute aims to create a collection of cultural, literary and artistic works of North African and Oriental Jewry; publications of essays on literature, folklore and cultural history, as well as distribution of the cultural heritage that is being studied through lectures, conferences and educational tours.

Mahut Journal
This journal is part of the Habermann Institute's publishing operations, and includes literary works on Hebrew culture and literature.

 Mahut Journal
Mahut Journal

   
   
 
 
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