From as early as Genesis, Jews have pondered the expanse that surrounds our planet, as well as their place in them. Astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences appear frequently in books published by rabbis and scholars in Hebrew and other languages during the 17th-19th centuries.
By the 20th century, Jewish astronauts and cosmonauts had successfully orbited the Earth and began to explore the very heavens their ancestors studied. As Jewish writers and filmmakers embraced these achievements (and other fantastic possibilities) on the screen and the page, science fiction and pop culture were changed for generations to come.
Jews In Space brings together dozens of out-of-this-world artifacts highlighting the indispensable contributions of Jewish scientists, astronomers, explorers, writers, and entertainers, including:
- Rare 18th and 19th-century rabbinic tomes on astronomy in Hebrew, German, and Yiddish
- Judaica taken aboard the Space Shuttle by Astronaut Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman
- Yiddish, English, Polish, and Russian works of science fiction
- Rare science fiction periodicals
Stay tuned throughout May for additional events, including:
Stardate 04.15.2018–All ages family program, with arts, crafts, and curator-led tours
Stardate 05.06.2018–All ages family fun program starting before the Center opens! We’ll be offering special sensory-specific fun and activities in a calm, crowd-free environment.
Stardate 05.07.2018–Meet five-time Space Shuttle astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman and listen to him discuss his experiences as a Jew in orbit! Hoffman will be joined by Dr. Valerie Neal, curator of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, who will provide an overview of the history of Jewish astronauts and their achievements in space.
Are you the leader of a #GirlScouts troop or other youth group that would like to earn a special #JewsInSpace badge for exploring the stars?
The Center would love to take your aspiring astronauts on a tour through the solar system! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to plan a group visit.
For artifact sneak-peeks, external reviews/coverage, and additional event announcements, search for #JewsInSpace on Instagram and Twitter!
Jews In Space: Members of the Tribe In Orbit is proudly co-presented by the Center for Jewish History & YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and financially supported by the generosity of Lisa and Joshua Greer, Kepco, Inc. & the Kupferberg Foundation.