About the Magnes

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, a museum and research center at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world’s preeminent Jewish museums. The Magnes connects people of all backgrounds with the history, vibrancy, and diversity of Jewish life around the world through its collections-based exhibitions and programs.

In 1962, the Judah L. Magnes Museum was founded by Seymour and Rebecca Camhi Fromer, becoming one of the first Jewish museums in the United States. Reflecting the guiding concerns of American Jewry after the Holocaust, the Berkeley museum focused on preserving the legacy of vanishing communities around the world. In 2010, the musuem was acquired by the  University of California, Berkeley and became the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. Learn more about the history of The Magnes.

Our Mission

As a museum and research center at UC Berkeley, the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life preserves, studies, and interprets its holdings to generate new knowledge and understanding of Jewish cultures with and for its academic and public communities.

Our Vision

The Magnes envisions a society that seeks common ground while honoring cultural differences and embraces the diversity of Jewish life around the world.

Our Values

Community

The Magnes fosters a sense of belonging through collaboration and appreciation of diverse perspectives.

Stewardship

The Magnes manages its collections and other resources to ensure the museumʼs ongoing cultural relevance and financial sustainability.

Discovery

The Magnes creates and facilitates collections-based opportunities for research, teaching, learning, and creative expression.

Who We Are

The Magnes and the University

The Magnes is a part of the Division of Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley.

Along with Berkeley’s Center for Jewish Studies and the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, the Magnes is part of a robust center of Jewish research, scholarship, and teaching.

The Magnes Museum Foundation

The Magnes Museum Foundation promotes the well being of the Magnes Collection at the University of California, Berkeley. The Foundation holds an endowment on behalf of The Magnes Collection. It funds special projects and contributes annually to The Magnes Collection.

Scholarly Board of Advisors

The Scholarly Board of Advisors support a robust program of exhibitions and research.

Staff

The Magnes Collection has a professional staff noted for its engagement with students, researchers, and visitors.

Latest News

News about The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. Learn about exhibitions, programs, events, and collection highlights.

Generating new knowledge and understanding of Jewish cultures

Generating new knowledge and understanding of Jewish cultures

I can hardly believe another academic year has come to a close! This year the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life enjoyed many highlights, including opening Cities and Wars: Roman Vishniac in Berlin and Jerusalem 1947/1967, which featured dozens of the...

Jewish American Heritage Month at the Magnes

Jewish American Heritage Month at the Magnes

Above image: San Francisco Jewish Family in the Redwoods, California, ca. 1900. This May marks the 18th annual celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, an opportunity for all Americans to connect with the vibrant and varied American Jewish experience. The...

Q&A with Student Research Apprentice Derick Lietzow

Q&A with Student Research Apprentice Derick Lietzow

The Magnes partners with UC Berkeley’s Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) to provide opportunities for Cal students to work with faculty on our world-renowned research and curatorial projects. As a Junior majoring in history, Derick Lietzow has...

Press Room

The Magnes welcomes inquiries from the press. For articles about collections and exhibitions, and other related inquiries, please contact Laura Bratt at lbratt@berkeley.edu.

Newsletters

The Magnes Collection’s “What’s On” e-newsletter provides up-to-date news about the collection, exhibitions, and programs.

Education

As one of the preeminent Jewish collections in the world, the Magnes connects students of all backgrounds with the vibrancy and diversity of Jewish life in the global diaspora and the American West through its holdings of art, objects, texts, and music.

Students looking at postcards and manuscripts.

Education Engagement and Resources

Resources and digital media to help bring Jewish Art and Life into the classroom.

Memory Project

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP)

Offering an opportunity to earn academic credit and gain experience in the arts

Join The Magnes Team

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is a public-facing museum on the University of California, Berkeley campus that conducts research, presents programming, and develops original exhibitions sourced from its collections of art, objects, texts, and music. The Magnes offers a dynamic environment that values creativity, teamwork and collaboration both within the museum and campus-wide.

The Magnes provides a number of ways in which museum professionals, scholars, students, and the community can work with the collection and its resources related to Jewish art, culture, and life.

Memory Project

Careers at The Magnes

See what positions are currently open at The Magnes and become and integral part of our mission.

Volunteer at The Magnes

Volunteer

Help The Magnes bring our exciting exhibitions and programs to the community.

The Magnes Auditorium

Venue Rental

The Magnes offers designated spaces available for private and corporate events, during and after public hours.

FAQ

When are The Magnes galleries open?

The Magnes museum is open during UC Berkeley's fall and spring semester. The galleries are closed during winter and summer break. Admission is free.

Can I take public transportation to The Magnes?

The Downtown Berkeley BART station is located just around the block from The Magnes, on Shattuck Avenue between Allston Way and Addison Street.

The following bus lines stop in Downtown Berkeley:

AC Transit Bus lines including 6, 7, 18, 51B, 52, 65, 67, 79, 88, 800, 851, and F

Bear Transit: C, P, RFS

Where can I park?

Two- and four-hour metered street parking is available in downtown Berkeley and is payable by credit or debit card. Nearby paid parking garages include the Allston Way Parking Garage (between Shattuck and Milvia), the Oxford Parking Garage (on Kittredge west of Oxford), and the Center Street Garage (at 2025 Center Street, accessible from Center or Addison Streets).

Please note The Magnes cannot guarantee availability of parking and that many parking lots near campus are either unavailable or charge special event pricing during major campus events, including Cal athletic events. View the latest athletics schedule here.

Is the museum accessible by wheelchair?

The Magnes Collection’s front lobby, galleries, and auditorium are all accessible by wheelchair. Staff will assist if required.

Learn more about accessibility at The Magnes.

What is The Magnes's service animal policy?

Service animals are always allowed on campus grounds and in campus buildings, including in The Magnes.

A service animal is a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities. Dogs that solely provide companionship, comfort, and emotional support are not considered service animals under the ADA.

More information on University policy regarding service animals.

Does the Magnes participate in the Museums for All program?

Yes, the Magnes participates in Museums for All, a program that provides free or reduced admission to families who are a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards.

Admmission is free with no need for reservations. Just come in during museum hours.

Museums for All is a national access program that encourages individuals of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

How do I gain access to the collection for research or other academic purposes?

Appointments with the Florence Helzel Collection Study to view select holdings for research or other academic or educational purposes may be made two weeks in advance of intended use.

For further information regarding collection access and use of the Florence Helzel Collection Study, refer to the Collection Services Page.

May I take photographs in the museum?

Still photography for noncommercial, personal use is permitted, unless otherwise noted in the galleries. The use of tripods and camera extension poles is prohibited.

How do I receive The Magnes Collection's What's On Newsletter?

To get up-to-date information about our upcoming programs and exhibitions, please sign up for our mailing list and receive our monthly newsletter sent right to your inbox.

Do you still have a question?

If you can’t find the answer to your question, you can always contact us.