Mon-Thu, 10am-4pm; Sun, 10am-6pm; Fri-Sat, closed
3 at Kingston Ave.
$10, free for children under 2
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Traveling through the exhibits at this new hands-on museum, it becomes quickly apparent that this is exactly the kind of place that teaches tolerance well. Who wouldn’t have a good time playing Jewpardy and Spiel of Fortune in a very realistic game-show studio? The 50,000-square-foot, six-story building is loaded with interactive high-tech, telling the story of the Old Testament and Jewish life. A crawl-through giant challah, a Jacuzzi-size bowl of chicken soup, and an overgrown kiddush cup offer Sabbath facts, with printable recipes of Jewish foods from around the world. A re-creation of a European shtetl has an audio pickle barrel, using real shofars (rams’ horns) as speakers. Kids can have a moment with a life-size animatronic tree that celebrates Tu’B’Shvat, the holiday of the trees. In the newsroom, visitors sit at an anchor desk and read from the TelePrompTer to deliver news from Jewish history (a field reporter in the Holy Land periodically cuts in). But it’s the contemporary World of Good exhibit that really hits home. An animated version of Norman Rockwell’s Gossip denounces the practice, alongside a complex gumball machine that lets kids direct the prize through a maze as a charitable donation. As for the Jewish mini golf, it’s on the terrace; golfers start with the first hole (birth), and go through life until you end at the not-exactly-somber tombstone. The hardest hole, the marriage green, is a moving obstacle course of hora dancers. “Every culture should have a museum like this one,” said Devorah Halberstam, the driving force and chief fund-raiser behind the space (and the mother of Ari Halberstam, the 16-year-old killed by terrorists a decade ago on the Brooklyn Bridge). “This is a multiethnic society, and we learn from each other.”