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Archives and Collections
The Skirball Cultural Center explores the linkage between American Jewish life and American democratic values through cultural programs and museum exhibitions for all ages and backgrounds. Designed by internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the Skirball comprises a museum, a discovery center, an educational resource center, classrooms and various meeting and social facilities. On permanent exhibition at the museum is “Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America,” which chronicles 4,000 years of the Jewish experience in the Old and New worlds. The visitor is guided from antiquity to arrival in the United States and integration into American life. Large-scale reproductions of an archaeological site at an ancient synagogue in Israel and the Statue of Liberty’s arm and torch are on display, along with historical and political objects and documents about Jews in American dating from colonial times to the present. The Skirball’s permanent collections, which hold more than 25,000 artifacts, include one of the five largest collections of Judaica in the world and the Project Americana Collection. The latter contains family and institutional memorabilia, and family photographs reflecting the experience of the Jewish community in the United States. Some of the material in the Project Americana Collection documents Jewish migration to Los Angeles from other parts of the country and abroad. The Skirball’s outstanding archaeological collection is housed in the Teri Bell Ziffren Discovery Center, which offers an insider’s tour of the archaeology world to explorers ages 5 and up - a tour that includes the opportunity to excavate the simulated remains of an ancient Israelite at the Outdoor Archaeology Dig.