Founded in 2003, the museum's inaugural opening was in 2007. The historic building in the Broadway neighborhood is the longest continually operating synagogue in the city. It was built in 1923 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. It is one of fifty synagogues that once stood in Newark, serving a Jewish population of 70,000, once the sixth largest Jewish community in the United States.
From the gallery space of the Museum, one has a view of the majestic Aron Kodesh, or Holy Ark. Constructed in the 1870s for Congregation Beth-El, later Rodeph Sholom, at their second location on Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street in New York City, the hand-carved wooden Aron Kodesh was installed at its present location in Newark in the 1920s and is the oldest in the state of New Jersey.
The Museum creates and curates rotating and traveling exhibitions, utilizing photographs, paintings, panel displays, artifacts, text, music and multi-media. The Museum is open for special exhibits and programs, as well as by appointment.