Our little history buffs may be quick to spout off the names of past US Presidents, but when it comes to local history even we need a refresher course to jog our memories. A small but important part of Oregon history can be found nestled away in the Alphabet District and is inviting inquisitive little minds to check it out. With a constantly rotating selection of exhibits, films, and concerts, the Oregon Jewish Museum is a great indoor escape for families who want to kill an hour after grabbing a bite to eat and dig into a little “brain food.”
When to Go
You may want to give them a ring before you visit to make sure there aren’t any school groups or other tours planned for that day, but otherwise, anytime is a great time to visit the Oregon Jewish Museum. As with most museums, they are closed on Mondays and occasionally they are closed for a few days between exhibits for installs, but they are wonderful about keeping their website updated with those dates well in advance.
What to Bring
The Oregon Jewish Museum is quite tiny, so leave all of the extras at home or in the car. A small, easily maneuverable stroller would be fine… especially if you have a little one who would best view the museum from the confides of a stroller!
Tucked away in the Alphabet district of Portland, the museum is quite easy to get to and even has a parking lot right next door for easy-breezy parking. And, more often than not, you’ll even be able to grab a spot on the street right outside of the museum’s front doors!
What to See
The focus of the entire Oregon Jewish Museum is on the history of the Jewish community in Oregon, including Jewish art, historical documents and an incredible archive collection of photographs of Jewish life in Oregon, dating back 150-years.
The current exhibit, Settling In, highlights immigration into Oregon from a Jewish perspective. It compares the struggles that immigrants faced in the early 20th century to contemporary immigrants from all over the globe seeking to living in our wonderful state. Their inspiring stories are enough to make any transplant or native Oregonian proud to live here.
Where to Eat
The very delicious Café Nell (at Northwest 20th and Kearney) is just a hop, skip and jump from the Oregon Jewish Museum and they serve brunch until 3:00 pm on the weekdays. Go down just a couple of blocks and around the corner and you’ll find family-favorite, Laughing Planet Café (922 Northwest 21st Avenue), where the kid menu is filled with items that will please both parents and hungry kiddos. Or, pack lunches and walk a few blocks over to Couch Park (Northwest 20th Street at Northwest Glisan Street) and enjoy a picnic!
Children under the age of 12 are admitted for free to the Oregon Jewish Museum with an accompanying adult. Adults cost $6.00 and children over the age of 12 are $4.00.
Good to Know
Be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page, where the Oregon Jewish Museum often posts updates about museum happenings and family-friendly events.
Oregon Jewish Museum
1953 Northwest Kearny Street
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday from 10:30 am – 4:00 pm, Friday from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
Have you taken your children to the Oregon Jewish Museum? Let us know in the comments section below!
— Katie Kavulla
photos courtesy of the Oregon Jewish Museum facebook page