Treasured and irreplaceable family photographs; heirloom Sabbath candlesticks; a wedding present of wooden clogs; a tin Hanukkah menorah with 17 candleholders so that two families could share it for the holiday—these are some of the many Museum objects that illustrate Jewish life, reveal Jewish self-reliance in the face of exclusion, and suggest the pain of extreme loss in the Shoah.

These objects are ambassadors from a world that flesh-and-blood people created, inhabited, and fought to preserve. The items that belonged to families and individuals represent personal experience of global significance.

The Museum’s collection holds more than 30,000 objects like the ones noted above. Susan Woodland, the Museum’s Director of Collections and Research, held a question and answer session about our collection as well as about people’s own family heritage objects.

Watch the program below.