About National Museum of American Jewish Military History
Located in Washington D. C., National Museum of American Jewish Military History (NMAJMH) is dedicated to exploring the roles of Jewish Americans in US military history. The museum highlights Jewish contributions to the armed forces and in the fight against prejudice, particularly anti-Semitism.
Amongst the galleries within the NMAJMH is its hall of heroes with its stories of bravery by Jewish Americans together with artefacts such as medals of honour.
There are exhibits about specific heroes such as the American World War One spy Major General Julius L. Klein and more general exhibits, such as the one looking at the efforts of Jewish GIs in post World War Two Europe.
National Museum of American Jewish Military History history
In October 1951, the leader of the US Jewish War Veterans (JWV), Paul Ginsberg, assembled a National Executive Committee to move the headquarters from New York to Washington D. C.. Within his plans, Ginsberg suggested that this new location would include a shrine or memorial to Jewish American veterans.
The proposed memorial would be a place to store records and memorabilia telling the story of Jewish service in the US military and documenting their patriotism. The building was bought in 1954, and the National Shrine to the Jewish War Dead was shortly after established, renamed in 1958 as the Jewish War Veterans of the USA National Memorial.
Ultimately, the goal of the NMAJMH was combatting anti-Semitism in the wake of the Holocaust and claims that Jews were in some way less patriotic than other Americans.
National Museum of American Jewish Military History today
Today, with free admission, the NMAJMH continues to educate the public around the courage and sacrifices of Jewish Americans who served in the Armed Forces. The museum’s core exhibit ‘Jews in the American Military’ covers Jewish service from the colonial era to the present.
Another highlight is the permanent exhibit on Major General Julius Klein: an intelligence officer during World War One and a hero in World War Two after saving many lives during an explosion in the South Pacific, Klein helped German, American and Israeli relations post-war. The museum is open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
Getting to the National Museum of American Jewish Military History
Situated in the heart of Washington D. C., the NMAJMH is easily found via the city’s public transport system. Buses 42, 43 and L3 stop along Connecticut Avenue, only 5 minutes walk from the museum. Otherwise, the metro stops at Dupont Circle, 4 minutes away.