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For Teachers

The Jewish Museum is pleased to provide Pre-K – 12 educators with resources and support to enhance teaching and curriculum development. All programs support key points of the Common Core Learning Standards. Learn how to bring your class to the Museum

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Pre-K-12 Groups

Make the Jewish Museum your classroom through thematic gallery tours that build on curricula, contextualize artworks, and incorporate activities and inquiry-based discussion. The Museum also offers customizable group visits to classes whose students have special needs.

To schedule a school visit, please email or call us at 212.423.3225.

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Exhibition Visit

Paintings: Soutine and Beyond

May 4, 2018 - Sep 17, 2018
Grades: Grades Pre-K – 12

Chaim Soutine, Sheep behind a Fence, c. 1940

Examine the expressive color and unexpected compositions in the paintings of Lithuanian-born artist Chaim Soutine.  Consider how Soutine developed his own style by drawing inspiration from the older masters while experimenting with modernism.  Compare and contrast Soutine’s paintings with others in the Museum’s collection.

English Language Arts

Signs and Symbols

Grades: Grades 3-12

Hanukkah Lamp, India, end of the 19th-20th century.

From the six-pointed star to eagles and lions, symbolic imagery can convey personal, cultural, and historic meaning.  Students decode and discuss these powerful symbols as they appear in art, including paintings and ritual objects.

Art: Materials and Process

The Art of the Book

Grades: 3-12

Prayer Hymn for Alexander I, Benjamin Nathansohn, Vilnius (Lithuania), 1818. Ink and paint on silk; brocade cover.

In this studio-based workshop, students examine parchments, reed pens, and the natural resources used to produce medieval books. Students view original manuscripts in the galleries, grind natural pigments such as saffron or malachite using a mortar and pestle, and illuminate their own works of art with gold leaf.

Art: Materials and Process

Multimedia and Process

Grades: 6-12

Matthew McCaslin, Being The Light, 2000

Compare disparate works in various media through the lens of artistic process. Tours may explore ancient to contemporary art, combining stops in both the collection and current exhibitions.

Art: Materials and Process

Materials in Art

Grades: Pre-K-5

Harriete Estel Berman, Alms Container, 1999

Students view art made from various types of materials — from wire to window frames — and consider the choices artists make. In the studio, students experiment with everyday materials to create their own works of art.

History and Global Studies

The Immigrant Experience

Grades: 3-12

Maurycy Minkowski, After the Pogrom, c. 1910

Why do people move from one country to another, and what do they bring with them or leave behind? Through examination and discussion of works of art and artifacts, students consider the personal and communal experience of immigration. 

History and Global Studies

Remembering the Holocaust

Grades: 6-12

Abshalom Jac Lahav, Anne Frank, 2007

Students discuss, interpret, and establish connections between the events of World War II and works of art and artifacts related to the Holocaust.

History and Global Studies

Number the Stars

Grades: 3-5

Michael David, Warsaw, 1980, Pigment and wax on Masonite. The Jewish Museum, New York

Elementary school students reading Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars focus on issues of resistance and hope through an exploration of age-appropriate works on view.

Ritual and Ceremony

Festivals of Light

Grades: Pre-K- 4

Rod Baer, Hanukkah Lamp Every December, 1995

Explore the role of light in the Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa holidays and view the Museum’s spectacular collection of Hanukkah lamps. Groups may request to focus solely on Hanukkah.

Ritual and Ceremony

Ceremonial Objects

Grades: K-12

Reddish Studio: Naama Steinbock and Idan Friedman, Hanukkah Lamp Menorah, 2011

Examine ritual objects and related paintings, exploring how artists merge artistic style with function. Students learn about Jewish culture and ceremonies by considering how these objects are traditionally used.


People and Portraits

Grades: Pre-K-5

Reuven Rubin, Goldfish Vendor, 1928

Students compare and contrast works of art in different media that depict people and consider how artists use the gestures, facial expressions, and body language of their subjects to communicate ideas and emotions. Discussion will also focus on how artistic choices impact the viewer’s experience.


Art and Identity

Grades: 6-12

Raphael Soyer, Dancing Lesson, 1926.

Students consider personal, collective, and cultural identity through an examination of paintings, sculptures, or photographs. Tours may address issues of assimilation, stereotypes and discrimination, and heritage.

English Language Arts

Art as Text

Grades: 6-12

Marcel Janco, Ma'abarot in Gray, c. 1950

Students study original works of art as informational texts and reference artists’ statements, photographs, newspaper articles, and historical documents. 

English Language Arts

Objects Tell Stories

Grades: K-5

Wedding Sofa from North Germany, possibly Danzig (Gdansk, Poland)

Elementary school students “read” original art and artifacts as primary sources to learn more about the historical and artistic contexts of objects at the Jewish Museum.

English Language Arts

Writing Through Art

Grades: 3-12

Ken Aptekar, I Hate The Name Kenneth, 1996

By analyzing works of art, students gain insight into how art can inspire creative writing and how writing can be a powerful means of engaging with the visual world. Tours may focus on poetry, narrative, and language development.

Archaeology and Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Civilizations

Grades: 7-12

Bottle, Eastern Mediterranean, 2nd-3rd century C.E. Glass: free-blown

The past comes alive through a close examination of original artifacts from ancient communities. Students consider pottery, mosaics, and glassware as evidence of societal change and daily life in ancient times.

Archaeology and Ancient Civilizations

Archaeological Dig

Grades: K-6

Horse Figurine, Israel, 1000-586 B.C.E.

Students make connections between past and present, discover artifacts from ancient cultures, and learn about excavations in the Museum’s hands-on, simulated archaeological dig. 

Art on the Road

A Jewish Museum educator will work with individual classes at your school, using artifact replicas, touchable materials, and visuals to engage students through discussion, observation, and interactive activities. A minimum of two lessons must be scheduled per Art on the Road visit to your school. Each lesson must be for an individual classroom and lasts for one period. Cost: $120/lesson.

Children’s Book Authors

Ezra Jack Keats, The Snowy Day /William Steig, Shrek/Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are/or Margret and H. A. Rey, Curious George

In this workshop, educators introduce students to the works of one or more author/illustrators featured in previous Jewish Museum exhibitions through storytelling and visual images.  Students create a work of art inspired by the illustrators’ books.


Ezra Jack Keats, Crunch, crunch, crunch, his feet sank into the snow, final illustration for The Snowy Day, 1962. Ezra Jack Keats Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi © Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. Image courtesy of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

Archaeology and the Ancient World

Students handle replicas of ancient clay, stone, and metal artifacts as well as archaeologists’ tools to explore the archaeological process and daily life within the context of ancient civilizations. 


Horse Figurine, Israel, 1000-586 B.C.E. Clay: hand-formed, incised, and fired. The Jewish Museum, New York Gift of the Betty and Max Ratner Collection, 1981-223

The Art of the Book

In this hands-on workshop, students examine parchments, reed pens, and the natural resources used to create paint and produce medieval books. Using a mortar and pestle, students grind natural pigments such as saffron or cochineal to create paint which they use to design an illuminated letter.


Prayer Hymn for Alexander I, Benjamin Nathansohn, Vilnius (Lithuania), 1818. Ink and paint on silk; brocade cover.

Professional Development

Workshops for teachers provide content and practical strategies for engaging students with works of art. These professional development sessions are recommended for educators who work with elementary, middle, and high school students. We can also create customized professional development programs for a specific school or organization.

Special education teachers are invited to attend these workshops free of charge.

Specialized Workshops for Schools

Gallery and studio workshops can be created for educators from a specific school. These workshops introduce teachers to exhibitions and explore strategies for integrating art into classroom curricula. Themes include Archaeology and Ancient Civilizations, Identity, Objects as Primary Sources, Materials in Art and more.

Fees start at $360 for 3 hours with up to 20 teachers. Please call 212.423.3270 for more information.

See all upcoming events for educators here.

Professional development workshops are made possible with endowment support from the Kekst Family Fund. Additional support is provided through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council and Council Member Mark Levine.

Educator Resources

Discover the Jewish Museum’s resources for elementary through high school educators and download curriculum materials. Each resource explores themes related to works of art or objects, and includes suggested classroom activities, a glossary along with further resources, and links to the Museum’s online collection.

Curriculum guides are made possible by a generous grant from the Kekst Family.

Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey

Margret and H.A. Rey’s children’s books about America’s beloved monkey Curious George hold a special place in the hearts of both children and adults around the world. This resource for educators is designed to complement and enhance a classroom study of the Reys’ Curious George stories.

The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936 – 1951

Examine New York City through the work of the Photo League, a group of politically engaged street photographers who captured city life in the 1930s and 40s. Developed for the Jewish Museum’s 2011 exhibition The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936-1951, this resource explores photographs in the Museum’s collection.

Narrative in Art

This resource features works of art with narrative components, and highlights connections between visual art, English Language Arts, and literacy. Consider how artists use visual elements to weave together stories with all the familiar components: characters, setting, plot/scenes, mood, and tone.

Objects Tell Stories: Jewish Holidays

This resource presents ideas for exploring the Jewish holidays through art and artifacts by highlighting ten unique objects from the Jewish Museum’s extensive collection.

Immigration Experiences in Art

Explore the topic of immigration with diverse works drawn from the Jewish Museum collection. Consider how art can offer new perspectives on the experiences of immigrants by focusing on themes such as assimilation and collective identity.

Teaching the Holocaust through Works of Art

To understand the significance of works of art and artifacts, it is important to understand their political, historical, and social context. This resource can be used to supplement and enhance ongoing studies in history, art, and literacy, through the lens of World War II and the Holocaust.

Teaching with Marc Chagall

This guide focuses on three paintings by Marc Chagall (1887–1985) that were featured in the 2013 exhibition Chagall: Love, War, and Exile. Compare and contrast Chagall’s paintings with works in the Jewish Museum collection.

Ancient Civilizations and Archaeology

Supplement and enhance your students’ ongoing studies in ancient civilizations and archaeology using artifacts in the Jewish Museum collection. Consider how artifacts can be used as primary source material to shed light on life thousands of years ago, particularly in the ancient Near East.

Common Core

Jewish Museum programs for school groups support the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and enhance classroom curricula by engaging students with primary sources – in the form of original artworks and artifacts – through close observation, discussion, and interpretation. Below are examples of the ways in which guided museum visits foster skills outlined by the CCSS; these skills are markers of students who are career and college ready.

Come to understand other perspectives and cultures
The Museum’s permanent collection comprises nearly 30,000 works of art from countries including India, Israel, China, Argentina, and Iran. Students discuss the convergence of cultures and make connections to their own lives through themes such as Cultural Exchange, Art and Identity, Festivals of Light, and The Immigrant Experience.

Demonstrate Independence
Jewish Museum educators use inquiry methods to create a forum in which students discuss their interpretations and share their opinions about works of art. Students learn to debate ideas and think critically.

Gallery exercises and studio art projects encourage students to use their imagination, be creative, and hone problem-solving skills.

Build strong content knowledge
By engaging students with art and artifacts spanning thousands of years, Museum visits build on classroom units of study with themes such as Archaeological Dig, Ancient Civilizations, Remembering the Holocaust, and The Immigrant Experience.

Jewish Museum educators consult with classroom teachers to establish connections to classroom curricula, goals, and vocabulary.

Respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline
Students deconstruct how artists use color, line, and symbolic imagery to convey meaning and impact the viewer. They later consider similar artistic choices when creating their own works of art.

Comprehend as well as critique
Museum visits are organized around themes to facilitate access to complex concepts. Students use discussion, writing, and art-making activities to express their own ideas and to construct meaning.

Value evidence
Museum educators encourage students to make observations and develop hypotheses through examination of primary sources (original art and artifacts). Students cite visual evidence during inquiry-based discussions to support interpretations.

Movies that Matter: Film Screenings for Schools

Middle and high school students with their teachers view award-winning documentaries that examine current social issues such as representation and identity, immigration, and civil rights. Each day of film screenings features post-film discussions and a pizza lunch.

Middle Schools: dates TBA
High Schools: dates TBA

Free; includes pizza lunch

Read about the Movies that Matter series on our blog

For more information about upcoming screenings, email or call 212.423.3254. 
Movies That Matter is made possible through the generosity of The Leir Charitable Foundations, Nissan Foundation, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., the Moses L. Parshelsky Foundation, Deborah and Michael Rothman, the Pamela and Richard Rubinstein Foundation, and Con Edison. Additional support is provided through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council and Council Member Peter Koo.

School Partnerships

Educational experiences for grades Pre-K through 12

The Museum works closely with schools to foster dynamic art education, from Pre-K through 12th grade. Two such programs, Art Partners and Chaverim, provide free, arts-based instruction to students at New York City public schools and Jewish day schools. Over multiple visits with a teaching artist from the Museum, these programs make connections between a partner school’s curriculum and the Museum’s exhibitions and collection.  Students experiment with various art forms in studio art activities, build their visual arts vocabulary, and consider art in a cultural and historical context. 

For more information and inquiries about school partnerships, please contact 212.423.3270 or
The Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Education’s school programs are supported by endowed funds established by the Bronfman Family, the Muriel and William Rand Fund, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Helena Rubinstein Foundation, Rosalie Klein Adolf, the Kekst Family, and Mrs. Ida C. Schwartz in memory of Mr. Bernard S. Schwartz.

Generous support is provided by the Samuel Brandt Fund, The Leir Charitable Foundations, Kekst Family, Capital One, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, Gray Foundation, J.E. and Z.B. Butler Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., Alice Lawrence Foundation, the Nissan Foundation, Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust, Con Edison, Moses L. Parshelsky Foundation, Deborah and Michael Rothman, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Pamela and Richard Rubinstein Foundation, Elias A. Cohen Foundation, Inc., Frederic R. Coudert Foundation, Henry E. Niles Foundation, Kinder Morgan Foundation, and other donors.

Educational Programming is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Council Member Mark Levine, Council Member Barry Grodenchik, Council Member Peter Koo, and the City Council.