Welcome to the Magnes!

Exhibitions, Programs, and 15,000 Objects from Around the World

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life was established in 2010 following the transfer of the Judah L. Magnes Museum to the University of California, Berkeley. Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music, and historical documents about the Jews in the Global Diaspora and the American West. As one of the world's preeminent Jewish collections in a university setting, it provides highly innovative and accessible resources to both researchers and the general public

The Power of Attention: Magic & Meditation in Hebrew "shiviti" Manuscript Art

On View: 
Jan 24, 2017 to Jun 23, 2017

Created from the early-modern period and into the present, shiviti manuscripts are found in Hebrew prayer books, ritual textiles, and on the walls of synagogues and homes throughout the Jewish diaspora. Wrestling with ways to externalize the presence of God in Jewish life, these documents center upon the graphic representation of God's ineffable four-letter Hebrew name, the Tetragrammaton, and associate it with words and imageries that evoke mystical powers, protective energy, and angels, as well as key places and characters in Biblical and Jewish history.

From the Photographer’s Archive: Roman Vishniac

On View: 
Jan 24, 2017 to Jun 23, 2017

The work of Roman Vishniac (1897-1990), a Russian-born photographer most notable for documenting eastern-European Jewish life in the years immediately preceding the Holocaust, has been celebrated in exhibitions and publications since the 1940s. Following the photographer's death, his daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, became the executor of Roman Vishniac’s estate. In 2007, the Roman Vishniac Archive was established at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Its collections comprise over thirty thousand objects spanning more than six decades, and include more than nine thousand unprinted negatives, recently discovered vintage photographic prints, film footage, and personal correspondence.

PopUp Exhibition: Alan Elbaum | Between Magic and Medicine: Karaite Manuscripts at The Magnes

When: 
Wed, Mar 01, 2017 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Alan Elbaum is a second-year medical student at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. While at Berkeley, he is working toward a master's degree in the history of medicine, using manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah. More broadly, Elbaum is interested in the literature and culture of the Jews of Arab lands; historical perspectives on medicine and the social determinants of health; and how insights from the past can guide the way medicine is practiced today.

Drawn from Water: An American Poet, an Ethiopian Family, an Israeli Story

When: 
Thu, Mar 02, 2017 6:30pm to 8:00pm

What do we mean by home? In Drawn From Water, Jewish American writer, Dina Elenbogen explores her thirty-year friendship with Ethiopian Jewish immigrants in Israel as theystruggle in a new country while dealing with her own desire to join them there. Thirty years ago, Operation Moses airlifted thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, where today they and their descendants form a community over 100,000 strong.

PopUp Exhibition: Rachel Deblinger on the Holocaust in the Age of Digital History

When: 
Wed, Mar 08, 2017 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Rachel Deblinger is the Director of the Digital Scholarship Commons at the UC Santa Cruz University Library. Dr. Deblinger received a PhD in History from UCLA, with a dissertation titled ‘In a world still trembling’: American Jewish philanthropy and the shaping of Holocaust survivor narratives in postwar America (1945-1953).

The 2017 Taubman Lectures l David Biale On Jewish Heresy

When: 
Mon, Mar 13, 2017 7:00pm
Wed, Mar 15, 2017 7:00pm
Thu, Mar 16, 2017 5:30pm

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Chair in Jewish Studies and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life invite you to the 2017 Taubman Lecture Series by Professor David Biale. 

On Jewish Heresy I A Three Lecture Series

PopUp Exhibition: Adam Naftalin-Kelman on the History of Berkeley Hillel

When: 
Wed, Mar 15, 2017 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman is the Executive Director of Berkeley Hillel. Upon completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Rhode Island, he initially worked in the financial sector as a business consultant. He later pursued a Rabbinic degree from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles, and was ordained in 2005. Before serving as the Executive Director of Berkeley Hillel, Naftalin-Kelman was the Director of Hillel at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The 2017 Taubman Lectures l David Biale On Jewish Heresy

When: 
Mon, Mar 13, 2017 7:00pm
Wed, Mar 15, 2017 7:00pm
Thu, Mar 16, 2017 5:30pm

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Chair in Jewish Studies and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life invite you to the 2017 Taubman Lecture Series by Professor David Biale. 

On Jewish Heresy I A Three Lecture Series

The 2017 Taubman Lectures l David Biale On Jewish Heresy

When: 
Mon, Mar 13, 2017 7:00pm
Wed, Mar 15, 2017 7:00pm
Thu, Mar 16, 2017 5:30pm

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Chair in Jewish Studies and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life invite you to the 2017 Taubman Lecture Series by Professor David Biale. 

On Jewish Heresy I A Three Lecture Series

PopUp Exhibition: Ron Feldman on Keeping (Jewish) Time

When: 
Wed, Mar 22, 2017 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Ron Feldman is a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union, where he earned his PhD in History of Culture and Religion with an emphasis on Judaism. In addition, he earned his MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and has been serving as the Chief Financial Officer of the JCC of the East Bay for the past eight years.

PopUp Exhibition: Ira Fink on El Lissitzky’s Had Gadya: Context and Meaning

When: 
Wed, Apr 05, 2017 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Alongside a distinguished career in college and university planning, Ira Fink has assembled a significant research collection of books on synagogue architecture and Jewish ceremonial art. A graduate of UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Dr. Fink’s family collection includes one of the few surviving sets of the eleven lithographs of the famous Had Gadya, the Passover song illustrated in 1919 by the Russian Avant Garde artist, typographer and designer El Lissitzky (1890-1941).

PopUp Exhibition: Barbara Goldstein on Jewish Family Values in 19th-century Anti-Semitic Literature

When: 
Wed, Apr 19, 2017 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Barbara Goldstein is a historian of European fascism. She received her PhD from the University of Vienna, Austria with a dissertation devoted to newsreel films created by the Austrian Police between 1929-1938 as part of governmental fascist propaganda campaigns.One of Goldstein’s focuses and special interests is in historic administrative structures and “infamous people” in the early-modern period.

PopUp Exhibition | Shana Penn: The Politics of Memory: The New Yad Vashem Exhibition at Auschwitz State Museum

When: 
Wed, Apr 26, 2017 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Shana Penn is executive director of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture and a visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union's Center for Jewish Studies. Her award-winning book, Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland (University of Michigan Press, 2005) examined women’s leadership role in defeating Poland’s communist regime. Presently, Penn is completing a book on the revitalization of Jewish culture in Poland after the fall of Communism.