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Exhibitions and Collections

Traveling Exhibitions

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music

Available to travel

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music is the first large-scale museum exhibition to illustrate Leonard Bernstein’s life, Jewish identity, andBernstein social activism. Audiences may be familiar with many of Bernstein’s works, notably West Side Story, but not necessarily with how he responded to the political and social crises of his day. Visitors will find an individual who expressed the restlessness, anxiety, fear, and hope of an American Jew living through World War II and the Holocaust, Vietnam, and turbulent social change—what Bernstein referred to as his “search for a solution to the 20th‐century crisis of faith."

The exhibition explores his Jewish identity and social activism in the context of his position as an American conductor and his works as a composer. It features interactive media and sound installations along approximately 100 historic artifacts, including Bernstein’s piano, marked-up scores, conducting suit, annotated copy of Romeo and Juliet used for the development of West Side Story, personal family Judaica, composing easel, and a number of objects from his studio.

To learn more about bringing the exhibition to your community, click here.

Upcoming locations for Leonard Bernstein:
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, on view October 4 - November 18, 2018
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Beachwood, OH, on view September 22, 2019 - February 17, 2020

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music has been made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Key support provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. Major support provided by The Asper Foundation; CHG Charitable Trust as recommended by Carole Haas Gravagno; The Harvey Goodstein Charitable Foundation; Lindy Communities; The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Family Foundation; and Cheryl and Philip Milstein. Additional support provided by Judith Creed and Robert Schwartz; Jill and Mark Fishman; Robert and Marjie Kargman; David G. and Sandra G. Marshall; Robin and Mark Rubenstein; and The Savitz Family Foundation. Special thanks to The Leonard Bernstein Office; the Bernstein Family; Jacobs Music; and the Milken Archive of Jewish Music, and USC Shoah Foundation. And with appreciation to Annette Y. Friedland; Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation; Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation; Eugene and Emily Grant; Ruth and Peter Laibson; and Laura and Mark Rosenthal.


Power of Protest: The Movement to Free Soviet Jews

Available to travel

Soviet Jews posterThe personal stories of American Jewish activists and Soviet Jews – known as refuseniks – will be brought to life in Power of Protest: The Movement to Free Soviet Jews, a new traveling exhibition created by NMAJH. It will explore the significance of this dramatic, risky, and emotionally fraught social justice movement, what The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg has called "the most successful human rights campaign of our time." After World War II, Jews who lived in the Soviet Union were denied the rights to live freely, practice Judaism, or leave the country. A worldwide human rights effort on their behalf brought together organizations, student activists, community leaders, and thousands of individuals – and reached the highest echelons of the American government. The exhibition will serve as a reminder of the unique promise of religious freedom and our continuing responsibility to preserve and protect that freedom.

Power of Protest is a small-scale, free-standing exhibition designed to travel to small galleries, libraries, synagogues, Jewish community centers, university campuses, and historic societies. To learn more about bringing the exhibition to your community, click here.

Current location for Power of Protest:
Please contact Shira Goldstein,, if you are interested in bringing Power of Protest to your community.

Upcoming locations for Power of Protest:

Rider University Multicultural Affairs, Lawrenceville, NJ, October 1 - November 16, 2018
Oregon Jewish Museum & Holocaust Education Center, Portland, OR, December 2, 2018 - February 2019
Memphis Jewish Community Center, Memphis, TN January 2 - 31, 2019
Washington State Jewish Historical Society, Seattle, WA, March 12 - April 28, 2019
San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, La Jolla, CA, August 19 - September 29, 2019

Past locations:
Mandell JCC, with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, West Hartford, CT, June 25 - August 31, 2018
Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue, Washington, DC: February 3 – 26, 2018
Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL: March 8 – April 16, 2018
Iowa State Historical Museum, Des Moines, IA: May 2018 


Power of Protest was created by the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. The exhibition is supported, in part, through a Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a government agency dedicated to advancing innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. The exhibition has also been made possible with the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group. Additional support provided by the Charlestein Family in memory of Malvina and Morton Charlestein.

GPG logo     IMLS logo

Press images are available here.  


1917: How One Year Changed the World

1917 jacob lavin
 Called "remarkably prescient" by The New York Times, 1917: How One Year Changed the World looks back 100 years to explore how three key events of 1917—America’s entry into World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the issuing of the Balfour Declaration, in which Great Britain indicated support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine—brought about political, cultural, and social changes that dramatically reshaped the United States’ role in the world and provoked its most stringent immigration quotas to date. The exhibition examined this consequential year through the eyes of American Jews, who experienced these events both as Americans and as part of an international diaspora community. The exhibition will be on view at the American Jewish Historical Society in New York, September 8 - December 29, 2017.

This exhibition was co-organized by the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) in New York. It has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Major support provided by Anonymous; David Berg Foundation; and Tawani Foundation. Additional support provided by: Linda and Michael Jesselson, Bryna and Joshua Landes.

Upcoming venues for the 1917 exhibition:

Presented as For Liberty: American Jewish Experience in WWI at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, MO, June 29 – November 11, 2018

Press images are available here.

Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American 

Chasing Dreams Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American is about the central role our national pastime has played in the lives of American minority communities as they sought to understand and express the ideals, culture, and behaviors of their homeland—or challenge them. It is the first large-scale exhibition to weave together the history of American sport, leisure, and national identity with the history of Jewish integration into American life.

A pop-up, freestanding panel version of Chasing Dreams is available for rent to museums and historical societies, libraries, JCCs and synagogues. To learn more about bringing the panel exhibition to your community, click here.

Missed the artifact exhibition? Enjoy a virtual tour of Chasing Dreams.

Upcoming venues for Chasing Dreams pop-up exhibition:
Please contact Shira Goldstein,, if you are interested in bringing Chasing Dreams to your community.
Past venues for the Chasing Dreams artifact exhibition
April 7 – October 30, 2016 – The Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
April 12 – September 7, 2015 – The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage: The Museum of Diversity and Tolerance, Beachwood, OH

Past venues for the Chasing Dreams pop-up exhibition:
August 8 – September 20, 2018– Milton & Betty Katz JCC, Margate, NJ
May 13 – July 15, 2018– William Breman Museum of Jewish Heritage, Atlanta, GA 
November 6 – December 15, 2017 – Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, Providence, RI
July 30 – October 22, 2017 – Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, OH
April 6  – June 25, 2017 – Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art
January 8 – March 2, 2017 – Congregation Ahabath Sholom, Fort Worth, TX
September 8 – November 27, 2016 – Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit, MI ( Collaboration between Detroit Historical Museum and Jewish Historical Society of Michigan. Presenting venue was Detroit Historical Museum.)
April 14 – July 29, 2016 – American Jewish Historical Society, NYC
December 14, 2015 – March 24, 2016 – Historical Society of Palm Beach County, FL
September 17 – November 22, 2015 – Temple Israel, Memphis, TN
June 14 – September 7, 2015 – The Jewish Museum Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
April 17– May 24, 2015 – New Americans Museum, San Diego, CA
January 5 – February 27, 2015 – Larchmont Temple, Larchmont, NY
September – November 2014 – Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline, MA