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What is the mahJ?

Founded as a state-approved non-profit organisation, the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme (mahJ) opened in 1998 with the support of the City of Paris and the State.   

Cour du mahJ

Heir to the Musée d’Art juif in Rue des Saules, created in 1948 by survivors of the Shoah, the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme opened in 1998 in the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan (1644-1650), one of the finest mansions in the Marais quarter, allocated by the City of Paris. The museum is the proud custodian of permanent state loans from the Musée national du Moyen Âge, comprising the collection of Isaac Strauss (1806-1888), donated in 1890 by Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild, and seventy gravestones from the medieval cemetery unearthed in 1849 in Rue Pierre-Sarrazin, donated by the publishing house Hachette. The mahJ collection now comprises more than 12,000 works and a wealth of archive documents.

The mahJ is a state-approved non-profit organisation. Its board comprises five representatives of the Culture and Communication Ministry, five representatives of the City of Paris, six representatives of Jewish institutions (Conseil représentatif des institutions juives de France, Alliance israélite universelle, Consistoire central, Consistoire de Paris, Fondation du judaïsme français, Fonds social juif unifié) and four personalities nominated by the Fondation Pro mahJ. The board is chaired by Dominique Schnapper, sociologist, director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales and former member of the Constitutional Council.

Since its creation, the mahJ is financed on an equal basis by the Culture Ministry and the City of Paris. 

The mahJ’s aims are to:

  • present two thousand years of Jewish presence in France, situating this in the context of the overall history of Judaism;
  • preserve, study, disseminate and promote public and private museums collections, archives and documentation devoted to the art and history of the Jewish people;
  • organise the dissemination of all forms of artistic expression illustrating the diversity of Jewish culture;
  • conceive and organise educative programmes providing a fuller knowledge of Jewish culture. 

Recognised as a major museum in the public interest, the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme has the Musée de France accreditation