Saturday, March 14, 2015

William Brenman Jewish Museum and Homeschool Day Review

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

The William Breman Jewish Museum opened it's doors in 1996 just in time for the Atlanta Summer Olympics. The museum is home to the permanent exhibit Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years 1933-1945, the Blonder Family Gallery dedicated to Southern Jewish History and the Scwartz Gallery which hosts a variety of traveling and rotating exhibitions. The Museum Library and Cuba Family Archives are also onsite and The Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education is a wonderful resource for students, teachers and lifelong learners.

A moms review:
This was our first visit to this Brenman Museum and I wish we would have visited sooner. The Brenman is a hidden treasure in Atlanta, though I am not sure why. There are plenty of signs for the museum and it is right beside the popular Center for Puppetry Arts, however over the last few months I have had many people in Atlanta area inform me that they never knew this museum existed. Hopefully this review will help change that! 

This museum has something for everyone, both young and old. The museum is not just about the holocaust it is about Jewish life, history and culture.

A few weeks ago we attended the William Breman Jewish Museum homeschool day. This year is the first year the museum has offered homeschool days...perhaps it is because someone encouraged them to do so, and by someone I mean me ;) The homeschool day was fabulous and both my 7 and 9 year old learned a lot and had a great time. Below is information on the museum exhibits as well as the homeschool day program.

Museum Information and Exhibits:
Currently there are two exhibits on display with a third opening soon. The first exhibit we checked out was the Where The Wild Things Are exhibit. 

The Where The Wild Things Are: Maruice Sendak in His Own Words and Pictures is an acclaimed children's exhibit dedicated to the work of Maurice Sendak a Jewish author and illustration. We are huge fans of Sendak so of course this part of the museum was a huge hit with our family. The exhibit features engaging, hands on components like the"Chicken Soup" slide, wild rumpus dress up area,  Max's boat, "In The Night Kitchen" play area, faces iMake creativity center and more. Throughout the gallery, there are large-sized copies of many of Sendak's books for your reading pleasure.  The exhibition really emphasizes art as an important and effective tool for children and adults alike in coping with stressful situations that arise in every day life. I really enjoyed the the new sections of the exhibit which were developed through a partnership with the Atlanta Speech School’s Rollins Center for Language and Literacy and the Georgia Art Therapy Association. I picked up several helpful resources like reading guides and dyslexia information sheets. But my favorite section was seeing all of Sendak's orginal sketches and texts. Be sure to grab a gallery guide on your way into the exhibit because it provides helpful information for parents as you travel through the exhibit and on the back of the guide is a scavenger hunt. If you answer the questions you will receive a golden surprise! This exhibit will only be on display until July 5, 2015 so be sure to see it before it leaves (if you do happen to miss it don't worry it will be back again). 

Next we mad our way over to the permanent exhibit Absence of Humanity. I don't have any photos to show you of this exhibit because photography is not allowed. This permanent exhibition takes a look at the tragic years from 1933-1945 from the perspective of Atlanta area Holocaust Survivors. The story is told through historical photographs and documents, personal memorabilia and family pictures and in the voice of those who survived and made new lives in Atlanta. There are a total of 13 galleries in this exhibit. The first gallery gives a history and historical precedents.  The second gallery provides a glimpse of the vibrant and diverse world of Jews in Europe before 1933. The galleries continue in a circular fashion and continue describing the assault on the Jewish people by the Nazis and their collaborators, the failure of the world to react to the massacre, and the struggle of the survivors to rejoin the living. As you move through the galleries even the atmosphere changes through various architectural elements. The floor treatments, walls, and windows reflect the time period, vanishing hopes, and poor living conditions. This is one exhibit where you need to make sure you look all around you. There are things suspended from the ceiling (like an actual railroad track from Germany) and things "buried" in cases on the floor. Most of this exhibit is suitable for children who are familiar with the Holocaust however there is one gallery "1941-1945- The Killing" that is pretty graphic. So you may want to bypass this section and proceed to the "Rescuers and Resisters" galleries. You can also choose to "escape" right after the "1933 The Takeover of Power in Germany" just like some Jews were able to do and bypass the more graphic galleries "1934-1945." It is definitely worth a walk through, no matter which path you choose. On your way in be sure to grab a gallery guide, which highlights the various aspects of each gallery.

Coming soon....Eighteen Artifacts: The Story of Jewish Atlanta' exhibit. This exhibit will explore the history of Jews in Atlanta through artifacts, images and oral stories. Each of the exhibits 18 artifacts will represent an integral moment in the growth of a people and a city.

Homeschool Day Information:
We had a blast during the homeschool day and it is one that I highly recommend attending. The William Breman Jewish Museum has homeschool days scheduled through May 2015 and will hopefully continuing offering them in the future. If you can't make a homeschool day be sure to check out Family Sundays at the Breman.

During the homeschool day your children will cover history, geography, social studies and more. Homeschool days are great for children in grades K-12 and do require a reservation in order to get the discounted pricing (additional guest not included on the reservation will pay the regular admission price). There are two tour options one for children under the age of 10 and one for children over 10. We chose to do both tours because my children have already learned about the holocaust and I felt comfortable with them walking through the Absence of Humanity exhibit. 

Here is what a typical schedule of events looks like:

  • 10:30 am – 11:30 am: Guided Tour of Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak in His Own Words and Pictures exhibition
  • 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Guided Tour of Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years exhibition for those ages 10 and up
  • 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Viewing of the film, “Really Rosie” and a fun art activity
  • 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: Lunch for those who have RSVP’d – Please RSVP at least two weeks in advance

Each of our tour guides were fabulous. They answered all of the children's questions and presented the information in an easy to understand manor. The children loved the vintage "Really Rosie," film which is about 15 minutes long. The Where The Wild Things Are exhibit was such a hit that the children begged to spend more time in it after the tours were over. We spent another hour in the exhibit playing and completing the scavenger hunt on the back of the exhibit brochure before heading out. Children receive a special prize for completing the scavenger hunt.

Extra details:
-Photography is only allowed in certain exhibits.
-The museum is stroller friendly and handicap accessible.
-The Breman Museum is located in the Selig Center, which is a Kosher-only Facility. No outside food or drink is allowed in the building.
-There is a gift shop with really cool items and amazing books. Watch your children there are breakables.
-Parking is free and there is one gated lot.
-Check the website for upcoming events. Besides homeschool days the museum also offers Family Sunday programs, a chance to hear a Holocaust survivor's speak, concerts and more.

-Group rates are available for school groups, etc.

1400 Spring Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: 678-222-3700

When to visit:
The museum is open Sunday – Thursday: 10:00am – 5:00pm, Friday: 10:00am – 4:00pm and 
CLOSED Saturday. The Museum is closed on most Jewish and Federal holidays. Please note that Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before, so the museum may close early on those occasions. 

Adults - $12.00
Seniors - $8.00
Students/Educators - $6.00
Child (3-6) - $4.00
Children 3 and under are free

*Admission to Homeschool School Day at The Breman is $7 for adults and $5 for students/children (ages 3-18), and must be paid upon entrance to the museum. You muse RSVP to get the special pricing

Links to follow:
-Breman Website
Breman Facebook
Breman Twitter

*Prices indicated in post are subject to change.

1 comment:

Erin Vincent said...

The museum looks awesome! There seems to be a treasure trove of information there. I had never heard of it before until I saw your post about it. I will definitely be checking out their homeschool day! Thank you for sharing :-)

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Please check the follow up box so you can receive my replies.

Designed By: Wacky Jacqui's Designs