I recently visited the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center at Obraztsova Street, 11, building 1A, where a friend and I had pre-booked an English tour of the museum. Upon arrival at the building, I was hugely impressed at the architecture and discovered it was a Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage, a monument of Constructivism that was designed by Konstantin Melnikov and Vladimir Shukhov. This building was the perfect showcase for the interactive nature of this museum.
A friendly young girl greeted us at the reception desk with perfect English and we paid 1,500 R for the tour (1 – 7 people) plus 400 R each for the entrance tickets. She seemed eager to get the tour started and quickly directed us to the starting point. It was strange to hear that the room we were directed to was filled with excitement and laughter – this was where I realised that the stereotypical image of silently walking around a museum scared to touch the artifacts was not what this place was about. The tour started with a 4-D cinema experience that is dedicated to the biblical events and ancient history of the Jewish people – from the creation of the world to the current day. After you wipe the water from the parting of the Red Sea off your glasses, you enter the next stage of the journey.
Starting with the history of Russia from the period of Catherine the Great, you are encouraged to interact with audiovisual installations to discover more about what the culture and everyday life of the Jewish people would have been like at this time. This continues through 11 more themed halls, each of them explained in a lively and interactive manner supported by interactive screens, photo and video-archives, documents and interviews until you are brought up to date with the Jewish perspective in the modern world.
For me the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center was a breath of fresh air – to be able to truly explore and be involved in the experience alongside the friendly, knowledgeable guide who eagerly shared her knowledge made for an enjoyable and informative visit. It was a lot of information to take in at one time, so I am already planning a return visit to spend a little more time in the areas that interested me personally.
The center also hosts major exhibitions that change throughout the year has an excellent shop and restaurant serving kosher meals.
Getting to Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center is located in the north of Moscow, inside the Third Ring. The most convenient metro station is Maryina Roshcha, on the light green line. You can view the location of the museum here on Google Maps.
After you visit the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, let us know your impressions in the comment section below.