The Jewish Museum London, which closed earlier this year, has been awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to assist it in providing pop-up services while it looks for a new home.
The museum will use the substantial grant of £231,000 to support the development of a new operating model for museum activities to be delivered out in the community after relocating from its building in Camden and entering a transition period towards a future museum.
The museum closed in July 2023 after its income plunged following the pandemic, and it chose to sell the museum building and look for a cheaper building elsewhere. In the interim, there’s been a plan to operate as a homeless museum, putting on temporary exhibitions and moving its educational and outreach into the community.
The project starts now and is funded through to March 2025 and will support the museum’s outreach in London schools, along with virtual programming and broadcasts about Jewish Festivals.
In person school workshops will start again in partner venues from spring 2024, and plans are in place to develop the schools offer for 2025. Community and heritage partnerships will host family days around London, and reminiscence sessions with Museum collections will take place in Jewish care homes.
The Museum is loaning collections to other heritage organisations, include tailoring objects for Fashion City Exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands, and objects relating to fundraising and accounting to the newly opened Faith Museum in Bishop Auckland. Temporary displays planned as part of the project include Chanukah objects for Bradford synagogue, disability objects for the Jewish Deaf Association and a Celebration of Jewish Life at Swiss Cottage Library Gallery in March 2024.
Acting Director Sue Shave said: “This grant will have a huge impact on the development of our future plans and will increase our impact on a much wider audience engaging with heritage in the UK. Our visitor engagement from this broader presence will increase from 28,000 people a year coming to the Camden Museum to a potential audience of 155,000 people per year including schools and community groups, reaching people in different regions around the UK with physical and online collections for the first time.”