Lighting the World: Menorahs Around the Globe
Just in time for Hanukkah, the Museum at Eldridge Street will present the remarkable Aharon Ben Zalman Collection of menorahs. This expansive collection features menorahs from around the globe and over five centuries of Hanukkah celebrations. Though Jewish communities in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas all celebrate the holiday, the style of lamps used reflect unique cultures and traditions. Each menorah’s design tells a story about its origin and those who used it. This exhibition celebrates Jewish tradition and the Hanukkah holiday, but it illuminates much more about cultural history, the evolution of customs, and Judaic heritage. The entire collection will be displayed in the Museum’s magnificent historic sanctuary. Menorahs from 17th-century Italy and 19th-century North Africa will be displayed alongside those from Colonial America and modern-day Israel, India, Brazil, Poland, the Netherlands, and more. The exhibition will include menorahs in brass, ceramic, wood, silver, and more; some vibrant painted, others modestly minimal, and others rendered in elaborate and intricate metalwork. The lamps in this collection have survived forced migrations, pogroms, the Holocaust, the rebirth of Israel and more.