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Museums in Jerusalem: The U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art

Housed in the former Schmidt Compound's building in the heart of Jerusalem, the U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art is one of Jerusalem's most precious possessions.

Founded in 1981, it was set up to collect, preserve and display objects pertaining to Jewish life in Italy from the Middle Ages through the present. In addition to the permanent collection, a number of temporary exhibits are held throughout the year covering a wide range of topics related to Italian Jewry, as well as conferences, concerts and guided tours suitable for all ages and interests.

The collection of Arks and religious objects from the Renaissance and Baroque period was brought from Italy to Israel in the 1960s by Dr. Umberto Nahon, through a joint initiative in collaboration with the Jewish communities of Italy and Israel.

These rare items were found in deserted synagogues that belonged to communities which had completely lost their members. They were kept in spaces adiacent to the synagogue until 1982, when the Museum was officially recognized by the Ministry of Culture, Science and Sport and was opened to the public.

In the past few years, thanks to extensive media coverage and hard work, the number of visitors has grown steadily. The museum's opening hours were increased accordingly. An average of forty thousand people now visit the Museum each year. Approximately ten thousand of these are pupils; the others come in organized groups both from Israel and abroad.

The Museum of Italian Jewish Art is located at 27 Hillel Street in Jerusalem.

Hours of Admission: Sun, Tue, Wed: 9am-5pm Mon: 9am-2pm Thurs, Fri: 9am-1pm.

Source: Reprinted with permission from The Jerusalem Italian Jews Association