Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
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The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Museum of Diversity and Tolerance, is located in Beachwood, Ohio, and opened on October 11, 2005. Now 10 years old, the Maltz Museum celebrates culture and explores identity to develop an appreciation for Jewish heritage and the diversity of the human experience. In two permanent collections, An American Story and The Temple - Tifereth Israel Gallery, compelling personal stories of struggle, courage and creativity are brought to life through film, computer interactives, special effects and dramatic exhibitions that feature unique artifacts, art, documents and images. The Museum also hosts rotating exhibitions (traveling and original), as well as weekly public programs.
Co-founder Milton Maltz’s company, The Malrite Company, was the lead developer. Malrite focuses on the development of innovative museum projects around the country, including the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
An American Story
An American Story chronicles the challenges and celebrates the achievements of generations of men, women and children in Northeast Ohio’s Jewish communities, from the original 19th-century European settlers to the individuals who today call the region home. One of the Museum’s two core exhibitions, An American Story showcases artifacts, images, audio and visual resources and interactive displays to tell the Jewish immigrant experience – a narrative that shares commonalities with other groups of newcomers who sought opportunity in the United States.
The Temple – Tifereth Israel Gallery
The artifacts showcased in The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery embody Jewish tradition and ritual, but they also highlight the links between Judaism and other faiths. The gallery features 175 treasures from The Temple-Tifereth Israel’s extensive collection of Jewish ritual objects and fine arts. Spanning more than four centuries, the collection connects the past and present through objects that are internationally recognized for their quality and uniqueness.
A 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) special exhibition gallery regularly features changing exhibitions of national and international prominence, including:
- The Jewish Journey: Frederic Brenner's Photographic Odyssey, October 2005 - January 8, 2006, 115 photographs highlighting the diversity of the Jewish people worldwide.
- Deadly Medicine: Creating The Master Race from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Where Would You Draw The Line?, created by the Maltz Museum, September 25, 2007 - January 20, 2008. Deadly Medicine is a chilling exhibition on Nazi eugenics featuring hundreds of photographs, graphic reproductions, actual artifacts, film footage, stunning eyewitness accounts and survivor testimonies. Where Would You Draw The Line was a series of seven current-day medical ethics questions, voted on by more than 5,000 visitors to the Museum and online.
- Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero, The Golden Age of Comics, from the Breman Museum in Atlanta, September 2008 - January 25, 2009, an entertaining and nostalgic look at the still-vibrant superhero genre through vintage artwork, rare early comics, scripts, multi-media presentations, original toys and games, with a focus on Superman, the original superhero, created by Clevelanders.
- The Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936, October 19, 2010 - January 23, 2011, produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a stunning look at how world politics, sports, and racism converged in Germany. Explores the issues surrounding the 1936 Games—the Nazis' use of propaganda, the intense boycott debate, the history of the torch run, the historic performance of Jesse Owens, and more.
- Violins of Hope, was on view from October 2, 2015 - January 3, 2016. The exhibition, created by the Maltz Museum, featured violins that survived the Holocaust and were restored by Amnon Weinstein. The instruments were frequently removed from their cases during the course of the exhibition and played. The 4,000-square-foot multimedia exhibition co-curated by James Grymes, professor of musicology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and author of the recently released book, Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust—Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour, illustrated both the strength of the human spirit and the power of music.It is part of Violins of Hope Cleveland, a community-wide collaboration that aims to inform, educate and inspire through a diverse range of performances, lectures, an exhibition and other public programming. Violins of Hope Cleveland partners are The Cleveland Orchestra, Case Western Reserve, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Facing History and Ourselves, ideastream, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.
- Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann, was on view from February 18, 2016 - July 24, 2016. The world premiere exhibition used photographs, film and recently declassified spy artifacts to tell the secret history behind the daring abduction and globally broadcast trial of a principal perpetrator of the Final Solution. The exhibition—which was extended due to its popularity—was a co-production of Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, Israel; The Mossad – Israeli Secret Intelligence Service and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.
The Museum maintains a special focus on remembrance of one of the darkest periods in human history. The rise of the Nazi regime in Germany and its subsequent acts of genocide against Jews, Roma and many others in Europe represented an unparalleled act of criminality that today is nonetheless in danger of being forgotten or denied outright. The Museum commemorates those events through artifacts and images and through the voices of men and women who survived the nightmare and share their stories of fortitude and heroism with students.
Each year the Maltz Museum welcomes more than 7,000 K–12 students from public, private, parochial, home and charter schools. Young people of all beliefs and ethnic and racial backgrounds are introduced to the history of Northeast Ohio and the experience of the immigrants who helped to build it. They also gain new understanding of Jewish customs and traditions, as well as the enduring struggle to end discrimination in all its forms to create a more inclusive society. Some 40 percent of student visitors receive free transportation based on need, and Cleveland Metropolitan School District students also receive free admission. All student tours are aligned with State of Ohio Learning Standards in Social Studies, Language Arts and Fine Arts, which means that Museum programs and events help young people to develop critical thinking and observation skills and engage in meaningful dialogue about issues relevant to contemporary society. Students are also encouraged to express their individuality, channel their curiosity and reflect on what steps they can take in their own lives to make the world a better place.
Stop the Hate® - Stop the Hate® celebrates 6–12th graders across 12 counties of Northeast Ohio who take action to create a more accepting and inclusive society. The Maltz Museum initiative challenges young people to consider the impact of intolerance and the role of the individual in effecting change. By encouraging students to be leaders and upstanders, Stop the Hate® reflects the Jewish values of responsible citizenship and respect for all humanity. Since Stop the Hate® was introduced eight years ago, more than 20,000 6–12th graders have used their voices to take a stand against discrimination and indifference in their communities. In recognition of their efforts, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage has awarded $800,000 in academic scholarships and programmatic anti-bias grants.
Begin the Conversation - In promoting a more inclusive society and encouraging connection, the Museum serves as a cultural hub – a venue for people of all faiths and backgrounds to meet and explore their differences and the common values they share. “Begin the Conversation,” a series inaugurated in 2014, stimulates just such communication through programs that foster dialogue on contemporary issues, with guest speakers, film screenings, staged readings of dramatic works and musical performances. Programs center on themes ranging from Arab-American heritage and LGBTQ issues to interfaith discussions, or respond to global current events. The goal of these events is to present new points of view for audiences to consider – to provide an opportunity to listen, to question and to begin to understand different attitudes and opinions.
Jewish American Heritage Month - Jewish American Heritage Month Ceremony at Cleveland City Hall - a now annual event that commenced in May 2010 and featured remarks from Mayor Frank Jackson and recognition of early Jewish councilmen. Ten finalists in the 2010 “Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out!” essay contest received special recognition from City Council. Open to the public.
Jesse Owens Way Street Dedication - on November 15, 2010, in connection with the exhibition The Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936, East Roadway in Downtown Cleveland (near Public Square) was dedicated to Jesse Owens. Mayor Frank Jackson, Maltz Museum Founder Milton Maltz, track and field teams from Cleveland Metropolitan School Districts, and Jesse Owens’ daughter Gloria Owens Hemphill participated in the ceremony.
One key to the Museum’s success is its ability to bring people together in an environment that encourages new connections. No one does more to foster those encounters than the dedicated volunteers who play multiple essential roles at the Museum. Volunteers serve as docents for visitors and school groups, provide program support and board oversight, staff the front desk and Museum Store, and reach out to the larger community through a Speakers’ Bureau. As members of the Friends of the Maltz Museum, more than 130 individuals give of their time, talents and expertise, providing 8,677 hours of annual program support, board oversight and ambassadorship including efforts in the greater community as part of the Mitzvah Corps.
Milton Maltz stated, “The Permanent Collection is the American story. It explores the lives of individuals and their families in terms of their social, cultural, economic and scientific contributions to the region, the nation and the world. The first Jewish immigrants arrived in Cleveland in 1839,” Maltz continued. “The Museum tells their story of achievement through stunning, state of the art exhibits.” He and his wife Tamar made their vision for the Museum a reality through their generosity and hands-on involvement in all aspects of the institution’s development. Adds Tamar Maltz, “Visitors from all backgrounds and faiths learn here about the similarities between the experiences of their ancestors and Jewish immigrants, enabling them to better understand and appreciate their own personal history.”