On Tuesday, April 6, the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU
reopened its doors to the community. Last March, JMOF-FIU temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and transitioned to virtual tours, digital content and social media outreach.
While the museums virtual and digital programs will continue in full force, JMOF-FIU is welcoming back guests safely, by appointment.
Currently on view at the museum are Will Eisner: Comic Creator, Illustrator and Innovator, The Sanctuary, and Jews of the Florida Panhandle.
Will Eisner: Comic Creator, Illustrator and Innovator, features Eisners work, a career of seven decades, including original illustrations, first edition comic books from The Spirit comic book series, works from his army days, graphic novels and self-portraits.
The Sanctuary is the premier exhibition in JMOF-FIUs newly restored main gallery. The exhibition showcases 80 magnificent stained-glass windows that surround the gallery, and other historic Art Deco features within the museums main building. The exhibition also includes artifacts which illustrate Jewish customs, holidays and lifecycles that were selected from the Collections of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, originated by Marcia Jo Zerivitz, founding executive director.
Also on display in The Sanctuary, is the recent promised gift of Robert B. Feldman, a New York-based art collector, of a large-scale installation by Mira Lehr. The artwork, titled Sacred Dreams, is comprised of 183 aerial sculptures that descend from the ceiling of the museum, and is estimated at a value of $300,000. The installation is currently on view at the museum as a temporary loan from Feldman, and will become part of the museums permanent collection in September.
We are housed in a building that was once a synagogue and this particular gallery was once its sanctuary. We have now curated this space to enhance the feeling of peace and community the room has always exuded, when it was a congregation and now as part of our museum, said Susan Gladstone Pasternack, the museums director.
Jews of the Florida Panhandle is part of a series showcasing the history of Jews throughout the state of Florida. The series launches with the Northern part of the state as this is where the first documented Jews arrived in 1763 in Pensacola, Florida.
We are part of the cultural fabric of FIU and of the state of Florida, and are thrilled to welcome guests back safely and continue our important storytelling in person as well as online, with our globally-reaching virtual programming, Pasternack said.