Bernard Museum of Judaica

Welcome to the Temple Emanu-El Bernard Museum of Judaica. The exquisite artifacts of community and ceremonial life that make up the Bernard Museum’s permanent collection offer a vivid perspective on the diversity of Jewish culture through the ages.

The museum is closed for the month of January and February 2024. The museum will re-open on Sunday, March 3. Regular museum hours are Sunday through Thursday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Etrog: The Wandering Fruit

The etrog is a curious fruit, rarely seen in grocery stores or used in kitchens. Yet the citron, as it is called in English, is an indispensable part of the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot that has accompanied the Jewish people on long twists and turns.

The fruit is so rare that medieval Jewish communities appointed special emissaries to locate and acquire it. Wealthy connoisseurs commissioned ornate boxes of wood and precious metals to protect it for the seven days of its use. Even today, just one man grows the etrog commercially in the US — and he’s a Presbyterian!

The artifacts, manuscripts, fine silver and ephemera on display present the story of this small object as a tale of home-away-from-home, of wandering and belonging, tradition and innovation, climate and commerce, a symbol of the peculiarities of Jewish peoplehood.

COMING SOON: On view January 28 to April 3, 2022. Opening reception Thursday, January 27, 6:30 PM

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Past Exhibitions

Exploring art, history and even pop culture, click to view some of the unique exhibitions we have proudly hosted over the years.


Our Judaica Collection

With pieces dating back to the 14th century, Bernard’s permanent collection features ritual and household objects both precious and humble, along with memorabilia from diverse Jewish cultures and eras.

Temple Archives

Cataloging and preserving documents, papers, minutes and memorabilia related to the congregation and its members. Archives are available for scholarly use only. Contact the curator for more information.

Temple Archives

In conjunction with the Bernard Museum, the Temple Emanu-El Archives catalogs and preserves documents, papers, minutes and memorabilia related to the history of the congregation and its members.

Archived items are available for scholarly use only, by appointment only. At this time the archives are not available for genealogical research.

Appointments and inquiries may be scheduled by calling 212-744-1400, ext. 259 or by contacting the museum curator.

Museum Information

We are thrilled to announce that Temple Emanu-El’s Bernard Museum of Judaica will be re-opening for a limited time from Tuesday, October 13 through Friday, October 30.

Please note, the museum will ONLY be open to Temple members for exclusive guided tours with social distancing for up to four people at a time. Tours will take place Monday through Friday, between the hours of 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM and 2:00 – 5:00 PM. Please email our museum curator, Warren Klein, directly to request a tour. The Hello Gorgeous exhibition will still be available to view, and the tour will include a limited edition Hello Gorgeous mask! All visitors must comply with temperature checks upon entry at One East 65th Street.