The advantages of a virtual museum are many. For instance, in order to visit a "bricks and mortar" museum, one has to physically travel there to see what it has to offer. This is not the case with a virtual museum, where anyone with a decent set of computer skills and a modicum of patience can visit it from their home computer or elsewhere. Another advantage, as alluded to earlier, is that the Museum has no opening or closing hours, nor do we close for federal or state holidays. We don't charge admission or ask for a "suggested" donation as most museums do (though you can feel free to send along a donation to the Museum that will be used to offset our expenses.) We only ask that you try your best to appreciate what is laid out before you, and that you consider your own family history to be important in its own right and worth preserving.
Many of us visit "real" museums from time to time. We may appreciate a work of art not only for its artistic merit, but also for the way it stirs our imagination and curiosity. Who was the artist, i.e. not just what their name was, but what made the artist create a particular work of art? Did the work represent in some way their life experiences or belief system, or did they do it simply because it was a commission? What was the society like in which they lived? We may even look into the eyes of the person whose portrait might have been painted, and try to see inside their soul. Odds are the person or persons portrayed in any painting on display in a major museum is not related to us, yet we appreciate it nevertheless because of its beauty and its relevance to the time in our world history in which it was created.
For the most part we, nor any of our other family members or ancestors, don't have our family portraits hanging on the walls a museum. The photographs of our family members whom we love, who often have a long and valued personal history, yet they are often consigned to a dusty album of family photographs.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if our families could somehow be represented in a proper museum? Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a way to honor and preserve the memories of our family members, our ancestors, by displaying their portraits on museum walls, or by having a way to tell their stories to those who are interested?
At the Museum of Family History, an effort has been made to do just that. The Museum attempts to strike a balance in the telling the story of our Jewish families, i.e. the subject matter covered doesn't just deal with the Holocaust and the other terribly negative events that have befallen the Jewish people. It also represents the many beautiful aspects of being a Jew and Jewish life, i.e. not only from a religious point-of-view, but from our traditions and individual life stories--those first-hand accounts--that compliment the third-person telling of most historical events.
So here it is. There are two ways to best appreciate and navigate through the Museum. First there is the Site Map page that serves, more or less, as a table of contents with links to the appropriate web pages or exhibitions. The other option is to use the interactive floor maps pages but interesting to see and use. These are currently works-in-progress, but you can use them nevertheless to navigate around the Museum.
The floor maps are products of a vivid imagination and a desire to plant a seed in your mind and the mind of others that a museum such as the Museum of Family History is a very valuable one. When you look at these floor maps, just imagine that this site represents a "real" museum of "brick and mortar," and how much fun, how so very interesting and stimulating it might be. It will hopefully be a good way to educate some, as well as to compel others to study more about our collective Jewish history.
History is so very important. If we want to know where we're going, it's important to know where we've been. Knowing about one's family history gives a new and more meaningful sense to our understanding of history as a whole. What better way to appreciate history than through the eyes of a family member or ancestor?
Here are the links to the two suggested ways to best visit the Museum:
► Site Map
Founder and Director
Museum of Family History