The Jewish Museum of Florida, a historical museum located on Miami Beach, has become part of the Florida International University family through a gift that will create a unique partnership. The museum will now be known as the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU (JMOF-FIU).
FIU’s Board of Trustees voted on June 29 to approve the gift, which will leverage the resources of both institutions, igniting a new era of interdisciplinary education, research and outreach focused on the history of the Jewish experience in Florida; the unique ways in which Florida Jews influence and are influenced by the historic and cultural dynamics of Florida, the nation, and the world, and issues of discrimination against all peoples in Florida throughout history.
Authorization to use JMOF-FIU as a special purpose center is still pending approval by the Florida Board of Governors.
This hallmark gift includes the two adjacent Art Deco buildings that are former synagogues, located at 301 Washington Ave. on Miami Beach. The buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The gift also includes the museum’s historical collections, research library, endowment, and other assets.
FIU will continue the museum’s operations and will utilize the facilities and collection to implement an academic plan consistent with the JMOF and FIU’s shared educational, research and outreach mission.
“There’s an immense richness of research housed within the museum that explores 250 years of Jewish art, culture and history,” said FIU president Mark B. Rosenberg. “Through this generous gift, FIU will expand our reach into the South Florida community, helping to preserve an important part of our history while enhancing the global learning experience we offer our students.”
A key component of the academic plan for the JMOF-FIU is the relocation of a variety of programs, including the Judaic Studies Program, to the museum’s facilities. The plan also includes the expansion of academic programs and research endeavors designed to educate FIU students, faculty and the greater South Florida community about the challenges of the immigrant experiences shared by all ethnicities in the state of Florida.
“This step launches us into our next phase of growth, by strengthening awareness of our institution and its mission, broadening our academic offerings and increasing scholarly research of our collections,” said Jo Ann Arnowitz, executive director and chief curator of the museum.
The museum is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Mondays, civil and Jewish holidays. Admission is adults, $6; seniors, $5; families, $12; members and children under 6 are free; Saturdays free. For information call 305-672-5044 or visit online at <www.jewishmuseum.com>.