How do we tell our family’s story? Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage for an afternoon celebrating family (mishpachah in Hebrew) and the stories and culture that we inherit. The 2024 Mishpachah Festival explores the evolution and multifaceted cultural legacies of Jewish immigrant experiences. This year’s festival provides opportunities for adults and families of all ages to engage with genealogy, learn Jewish languages, and reflect on how we tell our individual and collective stories.

These programs are made possible in part through a partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.

Festival Schedule:

Genealogy: Explore Your Roots with JewishGen and the Peter and Mary Kalikow Jewish Genealogy Center


Throughout the day, consult with experts from JewishGen and visit the Peter and Mary Kalikow Jewish Genealogy Center to gain insight into your genealogy and learn about resources available to further research your family’s story. Each of the following talks includes a presentation and Q&A:

12:00-12:30pm: How to begin your Jewish genealogical research with Jordan Auslander

1:00-1:30pm: JewishGen and Jewish genealogical societies as resources with Joy Kestenbaum

2:00-2:30pm: New York City genealogical resources and the Kalikow Center with Jordan Auslander

3:00-3:30pm: Using death records, burial information, and tombstones for Jewish genealogy with Scott Kalmikoff

Documenting Family Stories


Filmmaker Richard Kaplan will guide young and old in jumpstarting your family’s oral legacy project. Enjoy an opportunity to document your family’s own story of immigrant experiences that future generations will treasure. Adults and children of all ages can take part by drawing pictures, composing insightful questions, learning interviewing techniques, or recording voice or video interviews with family.

Talk: Brooklyn Seltzer Boys


Join father and son Kenny Gomberg and Alex Gomberg of Brooklyn Seltzer Boys as they share their family history and provide insight into the family business. Founded by Moe Gomberg in 1953, Brooklyn Seltzer Boys delivers old fashioned seltzer filled by the last remaining seltzer shop in New York City – Gomberg Seltzer Works, Inc.

Guided Tour: Courage to Act

12:00-1:00pm and 2:30-3:30pm

Take a behind-the-scenes look at Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark in a tour of the exhibition with curator and project director Ellen Bari. Bari is an award-winning museum exhibit curator, multimedia producer and children’s book author. For adults and children aged 9 and up.

Language Workshop: Yidish far der gantser mishpokhe / Yiddish for the entire family


Join Kolya Borodulin, master teacher and Director of Yiddish Programming at the Workers Circle in New York for instant Yiddish. Learn 50 words in 50 minutes in this participatory workshop for the entire family.

Introduction to Ladino / Judeo-Spanish


Join Daisy Braverman, lecturer in Judeo-Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania, for an introduction to Ladino/Judeo-Spanish. Learn about Sefardim – the speakers of Judeo-Spanish – and where they originate from, how and where the language developed, where it was and is spoken, and some of its characteristics. You’ll then have an opportunity to take part in an interactive lesson and practice some words related to family and other terms.

In Concert: Galeet Dardashti’s Monajat


Galeet Dardashti performs her multi-sensory project and album, Monajat, inspired by old and haunting recordings of Jewish prayers chanted by her late grandfather, Younes Dardashti, a famous master singer of Persian classical music in 1950s/60s Iran. A vocalist, composer, anthropologist and composer, Dardashti remixes samples of her grandfather’s legacy recordings and reinvents the ancient ritual of Selihot. This powerful work features original music performed by an acclaimed ensemble of Middle Eastern and jazz musicians accompanied by dynamic video art.

Festival FAQs

The festival is on Sunday, May 12, 2024, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (36 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280). The Museum is open from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM with activities beginning at 12:00 PM.

Yes, the festival is free of charge for all! We hope that you will consider making a donation to the Museum, and perusing our Pickman Museum Shop during the festival.

General registration is free to all and required. Registration will be available at the door for those who haven't registered. Admission to individual programs is on a first-come, first-served basis. Once a program reaches its capacity, no further entry will be accepted.

Yes! Our current exhibitions (The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do; Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark; Survivors: Faces of Life After the Holocaust. Photographs by Martin Schoeller; and The Garden of Stones by Andy Goldsworthy) are on view and will be open with free admission for all Mishpachah Festival registrants on May 12.

LOX at Café Bergson, located on the second floor of the Museum, will be open throughout the Festival.

The visitor admissions policies are consistent with the Museum’s which are as follows:

  • All visitors to the Museum must pass through security.
  • Food and drink are not allowed in the exhibition galleries or in Edmond J. Safra Hall.
  • Backpacks, strollers, large bags, and other large items are not allowed in the galleries.
  • Please ask at the Visitor Services desk if you need to check your belongings.

Yes, we have free coat check and cubbies where you can check bags and other items. Check out our Museum map when you arrive to help you navigate the Museum.

COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required to enter the museum. Masking is appreciated and recommended for all attendees, but is not required. We ask that anyone experiencing symptoms of or who has been exposed to COVID-19 attend the festival’s online events.

All Museum spaces are wheelchair accessible. We can provide wheelchairs on a first-come, first-served basis; please visit the Ann & Abe Oster Welcome Desk for assistance. Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are located on all floors of the Museum.

Service animals are welcome.