October 28, 2022 – February 5, 2023
Exclusive Jewish Museum Milwaukee exhibit invites visitors to discover how Jewish culture and history tie into beloved movies, television shows and historical events
Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit explores the epic story of the Jewish relationship with outer space, including rare historic tomes, works of science fiction and other ephemera from literature and popular culture.
About the Exhibit
With a title that pays homage to comedic filmmaker Mel Brooks, the Jews in Space exhibit explores many facets of Jews’ unique relationship with space and the solar system, including:
- The term “science fiction,” or “sci-fi”, was coined by Jewish inventor Hugo Gernsback in 1929, leading to the creation of one of the most popular genres of literature and film to this day.
- Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy took inspiration from a Jewish blessing ceremony hand gesture for the famous Vulcan salute, “live long and prosper”.
- Milestones from famous Jewish astronauts:
- Jessica Meir, completing the first all-female spacewalk in 2019
- David Wolf, the first astronaut to vote from space in 1997
- Ilan Ramon, Israeli fighter pilot and member of the fatal Space Shuttle Columbia mission whose diary was recovered and restored
- Jeffrey Hoffman, NASA’s second Jewish astronaut and second Jewish man in space, brought the Torah into space and spun a dreidel for a record-breaking hour in space
The exhibit features a GeoDome Portal virtual reality environment where visitors are immersed in stories of Jewish history in space and experience the universe with OpenSpace teleporting them to the moon, the Hubble Telescope and the International Space Station – or see vital Earth datasets from NASA’s Eyes on the Earth.
Provided by The Elumenati, a leading technology provider for museums around the globe, the GeoDome Portal enables collaborative exploration, education and understanding of complex STEAM subjects through its truncated dome that arcs overhead – creating unforgettable experiences.
The exhibit also features a wide array of materials, including:
- Rare 18th and 19th century rabbinic tomes on astronomy in Hebrew, German, and Yiddish;
- Yiddish, English, Polish, and Russian works of science fiction;
- Rare Science Fiction Periodicals; and
- Other ephemera from literature and popular culture.
Museum admission will be FREE during two free community days on Sunday, December 4 and on Friday, January 20. Museum programming and events are open to the public and include:
Global Museum Passport – Soref Planetarium at MKE Public Museum
November 9, 2022, 7:00 p.m. | Virtual program
Look to the future of adventures beyond Earth with Planetarium Director Robert Bonafurer.
From the Stoop to the Stars: The Comedic Cosmos of Mel Brooks – Author Lecture
December 1, 2022, 7:00 p.m. | In-person program
Join Milwaukee-based film and Brooks’ biographer Patrick McGilligan, author of Funny Man: Mel Brooks, for a talk and audience-driven Q&A, pulling back the curtain on scenes from Brooks’ rags-to-riches story. Brought to you by the Steve Solochek Memorial Lecture Series.
Lavie Tidhar, “The Past and Future of Science Fiction” – Author Discussion
December 11, 2022, 12:00 p.m. | Virtual program with in-person viewing available at JMM
World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar discusses his newest book, Neom: a novel that emerges from the multi-award-winning universe of Central Station.
Christmas Day Cinema: Spaceballs – Movie
December 25, 2022, 1:00 p.m.
Enjoy Mel Brooks’ silliest spoof, Spaceballs! View the exhibit before or after the film.
Star Trek: Going Boldly Beyond Barriers
January 12, 2023, 7:00 p.m. | Virtual program with in-person viewing available at JMM
Join Hector Kilgoe, doctoral candidate in African American religious history at the University of Pennsylvania, in exploring this landmark franchise, Star Trek, and its historical and contemporary relevance.
Sand and Stardust: Resurrecting Stories Burned by Space and Time
January 22, 2023, 12:00 p.m. | Virtual program with in-person viewing available at JMM
Hear from world-renowned conservator Michael Maggen who restored and deciphered astronaut Ilan Ramon’s personal writings on The Columbia Space Shuttle before its explosion.
Anonymous Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation
Jody and Jeff Steren
SUZY ETTINGER FUND OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
HERB KOHL PHILANTHROPIES
BERT L. AND PATRICIA S. STEIGLEDER CHARITABLE TRUST
CONSULATE GENERATE OF ISRAEL TO THE MIDWEST
THE ECAB INVESTMENT GROUP AT BAIRD
LINDA & ELI FRANK
CATHY & RANDY NEMEROVSKI
STEVE SOLOCHEK MEMORIAL LECTURE FUND
WE ENERGIES FOUNDATION
*Of Blessed Memory
MEDIA SPONSOR: Wisconsin Public Radio
A special thank you to The Elumenati, LLC for their generous contribution of the GeoDome Portal.
ABOUT JEWISH MUSEUM MILWAUKEE: The Jewish Museum Milwaukee is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of the Jewish people in southeastern Wisconsin and celebrating the continuum of Jewish heritage and culture. The history of American Jews is rooted in thousands of years of searching for freedom and equality. We are committed to sharing this story and the life lessons it brings with it, so that we may enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Jewish life and culture. We are committed to building bridges between diverse groups through shared history and to exploring contemporary issues through the lens of Jewish history, culture and values.