The Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum, which opened earlier this month, explores the Jewish experience in the national capital region and inspires visitors to connect, reflect, and act. The new museum, located at 575 3rd Street, NW, in Washington D.C., connects the past to the present through thought-provoking exhibitions, dynamic programming, and creative public experiences.
University of Richmond history professor Eric S. Yellin has been consulting on this project for the past few years, most recently serving as Visiting Curator and assisting with the grand opening of the museum. Yellin, an expert in U.S. political and social history, served as an advisor on Jewish history, the history of D.C., federal government history, and African American history.
“This project was especially meaningful to me as someone who is Jewish and who is a scholar of U.S. history,” said Yellin. “The story of Jews in D.C. is a different story than in a lot of other cities, and it’s a story not a lot of people know, and this museum opens up that narrative to more people.”
Yellin supported the development of the content and design as well as co-wrote the copy for the core exhibitions — What is Jewish Washington? and Connect. Reflect. Act. From exploring the lives and legacies of well-known national figures like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Michael Twitty to examining painful moments in local history related to race and racism, the museum provides a comprehensive look at the story of Jews in Washington, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
“This is a story in which both privilege and prejudice play a role; Jews in the Washington area have enjoyed proximity to power and access to social mobility and, at times, have had to face down antisemitism locally and on the national stage,” said Yellin. “Having a Jewish museum in the nation’s capital is critical to people knowing this complex history.”
Yellin hopes many Richmonders will visit the new museum.
“There’s a rich history waiting just a few hours away,” said Yellin. “The Capital Jewish Museum provides a great opportunity for anyone to explore this important community.”
Visit the Capital Jewish Museum:
The Museum is open Wednesday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Thursday through Sunday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Admission to the Museum and core exhibitions is always free. The cost for special exhibitions and programs varies. For more information about the Capital Jewish Museum, please visit capitaljewishmuseum.org.