The Capital Jewish Museum opened earlier in June in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Judiciary Square—blocks from the U.S. Capitol, the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall, and near what was a center of Jewish life in the district a century ago.The museum “explores the Jewish experience in the national capital region and inspires visitors to connect, reflect and act,” per its site, which cites an “experimental spirit.”

Among the collections objects are a matchbox signed by President Jimmy Carter and used in 1979 to light the White House Chanukah menorah; Washington Post press badges (spanning 1966-1982) of Judith Martin (“Miss Manners”); and a white lace collar that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the former Supreme Court associate justice, wore on the bench.

Artist’s rendering of the now completed Capital Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Capital Jewish Museum.

The museum owns 24,000 photographs, 1,050 artifacts and 800 linear feet of archival material dating back to 1850, according to a release.

The 32,500-square-foot museum consists of four floors and admission is free, except for specified exhibits. One current exhibit centers on Ginsburg, which the museum calls “visually rich, entertaining, yet rigorous.”
The collection also includes the restored, 1876 Adas Israel synagogue building, which was moved on wheels.