Travel Treasures Close to Home: Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

by Tom Reed
WMV Web News Cleveland
Story filed April 7, 2006

We may travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to visit a tourist destination, but we sometimes overlook the attractions in our own backyard. These may be in Greater Cleveland, elsewhere in Ohio, or in neighboring states. Here's another in a series of articles about such places by Tom Reed, a freelance writer who specializes in travel, and who has been writing about various subjects in our Reed's Read segment.

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage As Christians and Jews observe their respective holidays of Easter and Passover, this is an ideal time to visit the Cleveland area's newest cultural treasure, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

The museum, at 2929 Richmond Road in Beachwood, is hosting a major international exhibition called Cradle of Christianity: Treasures from the Holy Land. The exhibition, from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, traces the shared roots of Judaism and Christianity. Most of the artifacts are being shown for the first time in the U.S. and will be seen at only three museums in the nation. The Maltz is the first.

The Temple Scroll, one of the most important of the Dead Sea Scrolls, has been newly restored and is on display for the first time. You view it in a dark enclosure, under a light that comes on for only a few seconds at a time. To further minimize exposure to light, it will be replaced in July with another section of the same scroll.

Archeological finds dating back to the time of Jesus include a stone tablet bearing the name of Pontius Pilate and the burial ossuary (vault) of Caiaphas the High Priest who, according to the New Testament, delivered Jesus to the Romans.

These are just a few of the items of early Jewish and Christian life in the Holy Land. Cradles of Christianity will remain on display through October 22.

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage But allow time to see the museum's permanent exhibits. An introductory video sets the stage for exhibits on the arrival of Jewish immigrants and their assimilation into the city and the nation. Cleveland business institutions such as American Greetings, Halle's, and Joseph and Feiss grew out of modest beginnings.

The museum makes use of several video presentations. A film called "Hate" shows the persecution of Jews by the Nazis and the civil rights struggle in the United States. My favorite video was in a mini-theater showing Jewish contributions to the world of entertainment, narrated by Cleveland native Joel Grey.

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage opened only last October, and has yet to be discovered by many Clevelanders. It's open seven days a week. Saturday hours are noon to 5 p.m. On other days, the hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thursdays, when the hours are extended to 8 p.m.

For more information visit the web site, www.maltzjewishmuseum.org, or call (216) 593-0575. Timed tickets to the Cradle of Christianity can be ordered online.


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Copyright 2005 Tom Reed