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Current Exhibitions

Beyond the Temple Walls: A Commitment to Community

This exhibit focuses on the many ways Richmond Jews have given back to the larger community over the past two centuries.  Contributing to the common good is an obligation of all Jewish people, regardless of their wealth or wishes.  It tells the story of how individuals, families and organizations, both past and present, have interpreted their obligation to restore the world. 

About two dozen individuals are featured, including Mrs. Fanny Heller Straus, the first president of the Hebrew Benevolent Association; Charles Hutzler, chair of the Richmond School Board; Naomi Cohn, a charter member of the Virginia League of Women Voters; Sam Troy, a tireless fundraiser; and storyteller Jacqueline Viener.

Commonwealth and Community: The Jewish Experience in Virginia

The history of the Jews of Virginia is detailed in this comprehensive exhibition. It begins with the Jews who accompanied Sir Walter Raleigh on his expeditions, and follows the stories of Jews who lived in Virginia during the Colonial period, through the Civil War and Reconstruction, enduring two World Wars and rejoicing in the founding of the State of Israel.

This exhibition was originally mounted in cooperation with the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and the Virginia Historical Society. It was later updated and reinstalled at Beth Ahabah Museum & Archives.

That You'll Remember Me: Jewish Voices of the Civil War

This exhibition tells the story of the Richmond Jewish experience during the American Civil War.

“There may perhaps in such a scene some recollection be, In such a moment I but ask that you’ll remember me.” In 1863, the future sculptor, Moses Ezekiel, a student at the Virginia Military Institute, occasionally left his barracks to attend theater in Richmond. These lyrics resonated with him and were recorded in his memoirs. It is through diaries, memoirs, photographs, letters and notes that we learn what the Jewish people in Richmond were doing and thinking as they lived through the turbulent years of the Civil War.

The Jews of Richmond came from a variety of backgrounds.  Some were descendants of Jews who came to America prior to the American Revolution. Others had come from Germany in the 1840’s and had established homes, families and businesses in their new country. And some had just arrived from Europe, penniless and alone, with the drive to create a better life for themselves and their families. Opinions about the social and political problems of the day were as varied as the people who held them. In this exhibition you will see their photographs and possessions, and learn about the lives of Richmond’s Jews during the difficult days of the war.

Count Me In! Richmond's Jews Respond to World War I

With the country at war, Richmond answered the call. There were 234 Jewish men from the area who served in our armed forces. The community contributed both time and money to the war effort. This exhibit honors the Richmond Jewish community’s support for the war effort – from those who volunteered at home to those who fought abroad for justice and freedom in service to their country.

Sat, December 7 2019 9 Kislev 5780