On View

October 26, 2011 – March 10, 2013

Known for more than a century as the author of the lines “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…,” the poet Emma Lazarus gave voice to the Statue of Liberty and generations of newcomers to America. However, few people know her fascinating story, her Sephardic background, her American roots, and her work for Jewish causes and a Jewish homeland. Learn how Emma Lazarus was inspired to craft an enduring message on exile, refuge, and the promise of America.

The video below is from the exhibition:

This exhibition is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Pickman Exhibition Fund, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, David Berg Foundation, American Express, Patti Askwith Kenner and Family, George Klein, Klara and Larry Silverstein, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation, Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Foundation, Con Edison, and David Bruce Smith Family Foundation.

New York magazine and Jewish Week are media partners.

Emma Lazarus’ New York, a free downloadable mobile walking tour is now available. The tour is narrated by Julianna Marguiles and includes a reading by Meryl Streep of “The New Colossus” – Emma’s famous poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty.


The tour visits 19 historic sites in Lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village, Union Square, Chinatown, Chelsea, midtown, and the East River that helped shape Lazarus’s legacy.

The GPS-enabled app is available for iPhone.