Jewish Museum London prepares for closing day - Museums Association

Jewish Museum London prepares for closing day

The institution is leaving its Camden premises due to rising costs
The museum plans to reopen in a more prominent location
The museum plans to reopen in a more prominent location © Ben Johnson

The Jewish Museum London is to mark its closure this weekend with a day of family activities.

The museum announced in June that it was leaving its Camden home due to rising costs. It plans to sell the building as it develops a long-term plan to reopen in a more prominent location.

The museum will run arts and craft workshops, baking sessions and guided tours on Sunday 30 July, before hosting a closing ceremony at 1600.

The institution, which has a 90-year history, has been at its current site for 13 years.

Chair Nick Viner said: “Since its opening in 2010, Jewish Museum London’s distinctive building in Camden has hosted unforgettable events, conversations and exhibitions, including the award-winning Jews, Money, Myth and the hugely popular Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait.

“It has also been the focus of our award-winning learning offer, challenging prejudice and anti-semitism, and welcoming increasing numbers of school groups.”

The then-Prince Charles at the opening of the museum in 2010 Jewish Museum London

Viner said the decision to sell the building had not been taken lightly, but provided “an extraordinary moment of opportunity” to reimagine the museum for the future.


“We have realised our building cannot meet our long-term needs,” he said. “Jewish Museum London is the smallest museum among major European cities, despite being home to the second largest Jewish community and hosting the second largest collection.

“As we learnt during the pandemic, having to close your premises does not mean having to abandon your mission. The museum may be selling its current building, but as we enter a transition phase towards a new Jewish Museum for London, we are far from closing.”

The museum will continue delivering its education work through schools outreach and virtual programming from September. It is also in discussions with venues about in-person workshop spaces from January 2024.

In 2022-23 the museum saw 22,000 students participate in outreach, in-person workships and virtual programmes.

Prominent figures in the Jewish community have expressed concern about the closure. Historian Simon Schama said last month that British Jews were in danger of being “misunderstood” without a venue dedicated to Jewish history in London.

He joined a number of other figures in calling on the UK Government to mothball the £102m Westminster Holocaust Memorial project and instead divert the funds to a new Jewish Museum incorporating the memorial.

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