The Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme was founded as a non-profit-making organisation and opened in 1998 with the joint aid of the City of Paris and the French government. From the outset, the City of Paris and the Culture Ministry committed themselves to the project on an equal basis, both for the necessary initial investments and the museum’s annual running costs.
Having inherited the collection of the private Jewish museum in rue des Saules, the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme also benefited from the allocation of the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan by the City of Paris and of major collections by the Culture Ministry, including the Isaac Strauss Collection formerly in the Musée de Cluny.
The Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme is governed by a board of directors composed of representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the City of Paris and major Jewish institutions in France. The chairman of the board is Théo Klein, formerly chairman of the CRIF.
The museum’s mission is:
- To present the two thousand-year history of the Jewish communities in France and to situate it in the broader context of the history of Judaism as a whole.
- To preserve, study, disseminate and promote public and private museum collections and archival collections of the art and history of the Jews.
- To organise the dissemination and intercommunication of all forms of artistic expression related to Jewish culture in all its diversity.
The Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme has « Musée de France » status.