The Core Exhibition tells the story of 20th and 21st century Jewish life from the perspective of those who lived it. Through a rotating collection of 25,000 pieces that includes artifacts, photographs, and documentary films, the Core Exhibition places the Holocaust in the larger context of modern Jewish history. It is organized into three chronological sections: Jewish Life A Century Ago; The War Against the Jews; and Jewish Renewal—each told on a separate floor.

The Core Exhibition is housed in a remarkable six-sided building—symbolic of the six points of the Star of David and the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Entry Rotunda
The visitor experience begins with a nine-minute, multimedia presentation that introduces the themes of the Museum. Combining vivid imagery, music, and multigenerational voices, this collage eloquently conveys the richness, diversity, and tenacity of Jewish life around the world.

Jewish Life A Century Ago
The first floor of the Core Exhibition explores vibrant and multifaceted Jewish life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Personal artifacts and family photographs accompanied by documentary films provide a rich emotional component to the exhibition.

The War Against the Jews
The second floor tells the story of Europe's Jews confronting hatred and violence, of communities coping with persecution and isolation, and of their struggles to maintain humanity. These galleries present the history of the Holocaust from the point of view of Jews who lived through it, using their own artifacts, photographs, testimony, and historical footage. Chronological displays provide a framework for the historical events of the period.  

Jewish Renewal
The third floor of the Core Exhibition focuses on how Jewish individuals and communities rebuilt their lives after the Holocaust and continue to thrive in the 21st century.  The exhibition concludes with how contemporary Jewry has embraced the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) and fighting for justice for everyone.

Information to help families plan their visit.

TOP LEFT: Wedding photograph of Elsa Buxbaum and Seligmann Baer Bamberger. Wuerzberg, Germany, May 26, 1921. Collection of Joseph A. and Dorothy Frank Bamberger. TOP RIGHT: Schoolchildren in Jewish Life a Century Ago. Photo by Melanie Einzig.

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