Center for Jewish History


15 West 16th Street
New York
New York
NY 10011
United States


+1646 801-4865
+1 917 606-8215 (Rachel Miller)


+1 212-294-8302


The Center for Jewish History is a cultural institution, independent research facility and destination for the exploration of Jewish history and heritage. It is home to five partner organizations: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

Geographical and Cultural Context

The Center for Jewish History in New York City illuminates history, culture, and heritage. The Center provides a collaborative home for five partner organizations: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

The partners’ archives comprise the world’s largest and most comprehensive archive of the modern Jewish experience outside of Israel. The collections span five thousand years, with more than 5 miles of archival documents (in dozens of languages and alphabet systems), more than 500,000 volumes, as well as thousands of artworks, textiles, ritual objects, recordings, films, and photographs.

The Center’s experts are leaders in unlocking archival material for a wide audience through the latest practices in digitization, library science, and public education. As one of the world’s foremost research institutions, the Center offers fellowships, a wide array of exhibitions, symposia, conferences and lectures. The Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate, and is a partner of the Google Cultural Institute.


The Center for Jewish History is home to the Lillian Goldman Reading Room, Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute, the David Berg Rare Book Room and the Collection Management & Conservation Wing. Public programs create opportunities for diverse audiences to explore the rich historical and cultural material that lives within the Center's walls.

Archival and Other Holdings

The partners’ archival collections span more than 700 years of history and total over 500,000 volumes and 100 million documents (in 23 languages and 52 alphabet systems). The collections also include thousands of artworks, textiles, ritual objects, recordings, films and photographs.

The Center for Jewish History holds numerous collections on compensation and restitution: mostly from individual collections): i.e. Carl and Elly Weil Collection (1926-1954); Henry Ebert Collection; M. Poppelauer (Publisher and booksellers, Berlin, 1939-1960), Grossmann Family Collection, 1750; Lily Friedman Collection (1944-1946); Walter and Herta Fleck Collection, Heldenmuth Family Collection (1866-1964); etc; Office of Military Government for Germany, Restitution Claims; Council of Jews from Germany Collection, 1946-1964 (includes section on restitution); Möbelaktion Frankreich, Belgien, Holland, Luxemburg 1940-1944, 1940-1958 (created by URO; contains informastion on restitution and indemnification claims); Jewish Restitution Successor Organization Collection, 1947-1972: "Reports and memorandum on the organization's activities and its history; restitution claims for individuals and communities, including those of Altenstadt, Himbach, Muehlheim/Ruhr and Schotten"; United Restitution Organizaton (New York Office) Collection, 1937-1985; United Restitution Organization (URO), 1957-1963; American Federation of Jews from Central Europe, 1944-1947; Concentration and Internment Camps Collection, 1936-1998 ("alphabetical list of concentration camps recognized for the processing of German restitution claims (photocopies in German); records of relief organizations."); World Jewish Congress Collection (1936-1946): "Reparations, Restitution, Compensation" (1956); American Association of Former Jurists Collection, 1959-1967; Jews in Germany Collection, after 1945, 1945-; Holocaust-Era Insurance Accounts Collection, 1933-2000; Frankfurt am Main, Jewish Community Collection, 1614-2003.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Opening Times

HOURS Reading Room & Genealogy Institute Mon-Thurs: 10am-4pm

Exhibit Spaces Mon-Wed: 10am-4pm Thurs: 10am-8pm Fri: 10am-3pm Sat: Closed Sun: 11am-5pm

Last entry to the Center for Jewish History exhibition spaces is 30 minutes before closing.

The Center for Jewish History is closed on Saturdays and all major Jewish and national holidays.

Conditions of Access

Lillian Goldman Reading Room: by appointment only Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute: Walk-ins are permitted, based on availability, though appointments are recommended.


Research is conducted in the Lillian Goldman Reading Room, which is accessible via the elevator.

Reproduction Services

Each of the partner institutions has specific rules regarding photography and duplication.


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