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The Jewish Museum London has been nominated for the Sunday Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award 2012. Amongst stiff competition from across the UK, the Museum finds itself on the list of only 20 museums for this prestigious industry award organised by Kids in Museums, landing itself the impressive accolade of being amongst the country’s most friendly museums.
This exciting news comes just two years after the Jewish Museum completed a £10 million transformation, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), tripling the size of the Museum and significantly increasing the offer made to families, schools and adult visitors. Families can now enjoy intergenerational workshops, family gallery trails, touch tours and film making courses and all informal learning programmes use objects, films, personal testimonies and photographs from the collections, as well as interactive displays and dressing-up areas within the permanent galleries.
Caroline Marcus, Head of Learning says: “We are thrilled to be nominated for this award and to sit alongside such a range of dynamic and engaging museums and galleries
“We love the buzz of kids and families in the Jewish Museum and encourage an ethos of please touch! Our family-friendly displays and workshops are designed for young people to encourage their adults to explore new things together, share new information and respond creatively to the Museum's collections and displays. Central to the programme is our belief that every object tells a story and we encourage participants to discover and be curious through exploring the 'real thing'.”
On visiting the Museum, one visitor noted: “Each room has special activities for children — dressing up, worksheets, video and even the opportunity to put on a performance. No aspect of the museum, not even sensitive topics such as the Holocaust, is made inaccessible to children.”
The Museum’s multi-sensory galleries are fully accessible and packed with films and interactive displays to engage young people and families. Permanent displays include a chance to smell the chicken soup in a turn-of-the century East End kitchen, a Yiddish karaoke interactive from comedian David Schneider, and an opportunity to discuss sensitive histories through exploring objects packed in the suitcase of a Kindertransport refugee. Visitors can experience a Shabbat meal and watch footage of families celebrating Jewish festivals.
“Museums are changing and visitors are becoming more and more discerning,” says Dea Birkett, Director of Kids in Museums. “It’s no longer enough to offer a few finger paints for five year olds. Visitors have said in their hundreds that they want the whole family – from fifteen to a few months – to feel they belong among the Mummies and Old Masters. That’s the challenge they’ve set museums. And that’s what the longlist are working so well towards meeting.”
Other London-based museums on the long-list include the Geffrye Museum, the National Army Museum and the Museum of London.
To be a mystery museum judge and help pick the winner, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Order your free copy of the Kids in Museums Manifesto 2012 from email@example.com. Find out more about the award at www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk or www.telegraph.co.uk/museumawards.
Notes to Editors For more information contact PR Manager Jessica Hope: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7284 7356