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Museum of Art and History

of Judaism

The MAHJ is recognized as one of the most important museums in the world dedicated to Jewish culture. Its collection and commitment to Jewish history and culture make it a valuable resource for researchers, students and visitors around the world.

An exceptional place

The Museum of Art and History of Judaism (MAHJ) in Paris represents a cultural gem of immeasurable importance, both in terms of art history and the preservation of Jewish cultural heritage. Founded in 1998, this museum is housed in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan, an emblematic example of 17th century architecture, located in the historic Marais district. The building itself is of notable architectural significance, while providing a perfect setting for housing artistic and cultural treasures.

The MAHJ's eloquent and multidimensional collections encompass a vast array of objects, artworks, documents and artifacts that depict Jewish history, both in France and around the world, spanning from 'Antiquity to the contemporary era. This impressive compilation includes religious pieces of great importance, artistic masterpieces, ancient books, items of clothing, photographs, and other unique objects, offering a true immersion in the Jewish cultural and religious legacy .

Beyond its permanent collections, the MAHJ periodically offers temporary exhibitions which are distinguished by their in-depth exploration of various aspects of Jewish culture and history. These exhibitions shed innovative light, whether contemporary works of art, scrupulous historical analyzes or avant-garde cultural events, inviting visitors to deep reflection.

The MAHJ is also dedicated to education. Its diverse educational program offering extends to audiences of all ages, offering guided tours, scholarly lectures, interactive workshops, andactivities suitable for young people. These initiatives aim to make the rich Jewish culture accessible to as many people as possible.

The museum has a library and research center, which has become a reference pillar for scholars and researchers specializing in Jewish history, art, culture and religion. These exceptional resources serve as vectors of knowledge and reflection.

The MAHJ regularly organizes cultural events,high-level conferences, concerts, film screenings and other events that promote intercultural dialogue and stimulate the curiosity of the general public. These events contribute to the enrichment of mutual understanding.

A window on history


The historical collection of the Museum of Art and History of Judaism is a treasure of inestimable importance, offering a profound look at the rich and complex history of the Jewish community in France and around the world. This collection includes an impressive variety of historical objects, documents, and artifacts that illuminate various aspects of Jewish history.


A more detailed exploration of this collection:

- Historical Documents: The MAHJ houses a substantial collection of historical documents, including manuscripts, letters, contracts and archives that trace the history of Jews in France. These documents reveal valuable details about daily life, business transactions, and cross-cultural interactions.


- Ritual objects: The collection includes an exceptional range of ritual objects used in Jewish religious practice, including tefillin (phylacteries), mezuzot (sacred scrolls inserted into doors), menorahs (seven-branched candlesticks), scrolls of the Torah and other liturgical objects. These objects bear witness to the continuity of religious practice over the generations.


- Artifacts of daily life: The collection also includes artifacts of daily life, such as furniture, clothing, kitchen utensils and decorative elements that illustrate the way Jews lived in France at different times. They allow you to visualize the way of life and customs of the community.


- Historical Photographs: Historical photographs provide a valuable insight into the lives of Jews in France throughout the ages. They document moments of community life, religious events, notable personalities, and scenes of urban life.


- Art and illustration: The MAHJ historical art collection includes works of art that depict Jewish themes and events. These works reflect Jewish artistic expression over time and offer commentary on history and culture.


- Archives and publications: The museum maintains a collection of publications and printed materials related to Jewish history, including old books, newspapers, journals and archival documents that cover various aspects of Jewish life in France.


- Historical relics: The collection includes historical relics, objects of memory and artifacts linked to specific events in Jewish history in France. These objects evoke moments of triumph, persecution, resistance and reconciliation.


The MAHJ is strategically located inthe Marais district, who played an essential role in the Jewish history of France. Over the centuries, the Marais has been home to a large Jewish community and has witnessed a rich history marked by intercultural and interreligious coexistence. 

Jews settled in the Marais in the Middle Ages, living mainly near the Temple du Marais, the first Jewish district of Paris. At the end of the 14th century, they were expelled from France, leading to some decline in the Jewish community in the Marais. However, from the 16th century, France saw the return of Sephardic Jews, expelled from Spain and Portugal due to the Inquisition. They resettled in the Marais, bringing with them their culture and traditions.


The Marais quickly became an important center of Jewish life in France, of which here are some of the key places  :

- The Temple du Marais: Although this building is not a Jewish place of worship, the Temple du Marais, located in the heart of the district, owes its name to the history of the district, which was the site of the first Jewish settlement in Paris in the Middle Ages. The Temple du Marais is an impressive example of classical French architecture.

- Rue des Rosiers: This emblematic street of the Marais is the heart of Jewish life in the neighborhood. It is lined with restaurants, shops, bakeries and synagogues. Rue des Rosiers is an essential place to discover Jewish cuisine and cultural heritage.


- The synagogue on rue Pavee: This synagogue, built in the 17th century, is a testimony to the Sephardic Jewish presence in the Marais. It is one of the oldest synagogues in France and a fascinating example of religious architecture.


- The Museum of Art and History of Judaism (MAHJ): Located in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan, the MAHJ is the main museum dedicated to Jewish history and culture in France. It houses an exceptional collection of objects, works of art and documents related to Jewish history.


- The Shoah Memorial: Although located in the Marais district, the Shoah Memorial deserves to be mentioned for its essential role in preserving the memory of the Shoah in France. It has a museum and a documentation center dedicated to the history of Nazi persecution and the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.


- La Librairie du Temple: This bookstore, located in the Marais, is a valuable resource for those wishing to explore Jewish literature, religion, history and culture. It offers a wide selection of books in French and Hebrew.


- Commemorative plaques: Throughout the Marais district, one can find commemorative plaques and memorials recalling significant events in Jewish history, including persecutions, resistance and important personalities.

Over the centuries, the Marais remained a place of significant Jewish presence, and the community contributed substantially to the cultural and economic life of the region.

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