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Contemporary Jewish Museum

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Contemporary Jewish Museum


Basic Information

Location 37.78577°N 122.40394°W
Phone number 415.655.7800
Country United States
City San Francisco, CA
Address 736 Mission Street San Francisco, CA

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility yes
Geographical Coordinates 37.78563,-122.40412


The Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) was founded in 1984 in San Francisco, California, with the goal of offering contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. In June 2008, the Museum moved to the Yerba Buena district of San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, into a new building designed by architect Daniel Libeskind.

History and time period

The museum began in 1984 as the Jewish Community Museum located in San Francisco’s financial district. Ten years later, the board decided to move to Yerba Buena Gardens on Mission Street. Architect Peter Eisenman proposed a design for the new building, but the museum’s trustees and local residents rejected it. In 1998, the museum hired Daniel Libeskind and construction began in 2006.

The museum has no permanent collection. Based on its mission, "to make the Jewish experience relevant for a twenty-first century audience," it curates and hosts a broad array of exhibitions, such as “In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis,” "From The New Yorker to Shrek: The Art of William Steig," and "Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories," throughout the year. Former Whitney Museum curator Connie Wolf was the museum’s director from 1999 to 2012. Lori Starr, former executive director of the Koffler Centre of the Arts (Toronto, CN), was appointed the museum's director in 2013.


The Museum is closed the first day of Passover, July 4, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving, and New Year's Day. The Museum is open on December 25, 2014 from 11am–4pm.

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