As a lifelong Philadelphian and long-time Frank Lloyd Wright admirer, many times I’ve driven past the incredible Beth Sholom Congregation building and counted myself (and our region) lucky to have this gem designed by Wright in our midst. So I was delighted when Beth Sholom, located in Elkins Park about 45 minutes from the Museum, approached us last year about the two institutions working together.
Several months ago, a few of the staff from the NMAJH visited the shul and enjoyed a fantastic guided tour of this active congregation’s home-cum-Historic Landmark Visitor Center. The light-filled, tall sanctuary combined with the more intimate, and colorful chapel and social spaces left an impression on me. So did the informative introductory film, narrated by none other than Leonard Nimoy, and the interactive gallery featuring relatable stories by Beth Sholom’s varied congregants.
But, more than the design or even the exhibition, what really drew me in was the compelling story of how Beth Sholom’s brilliant Rabbi, Mortimer Cohen, and Wright, the renowned architect, worked together in a seemingly unprecedented fashion to visualize and then realize this incredible “American Synagogue.”
The Museum jumped at the opportunity to partner with them and we now are offering a joint ticket, whereby group guests may visit the Museum and then take a trip to the ‘burbs to Beth Sholom to learn about the American Jewish experience as it plays out in one of the country’s landmark synagogues and congregations.
Check here for information about joint tickets between the NMAJH and Beth Sholom and other Museum group experiences.
-- Contributed by Megan Helzner
Group Experiences and Sales Manager