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Press Release

The Contemporary Jewish Museum Announces Reopening

Museum will Open to Public October 17 with Timed Tickets and Reduced Capacity

Thursday, September 24, 2020 (San Francisco, CA) – The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) announced today that it will reopen to the public on October 17, 2020, after closing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on March 13. Members of The CJM will be given priority access to The Museum on October 15 and 16. Upon reopening, visitors will be able to view Levi Strauss: A History of American Style and Threads of Jewish Life: Ritual and Other Textiles from the San Francisco Bay Area, both of which have been extended through early 2021. In addition, The Museum will open a new exhibition: Predicting the Past: Zohar Studios, The Lost Years, which will also be on view through early 2021. The health and safety of visitors and staff is The CJM’s highest priority, and new protocols have been established to ensure a safe experience for all.

“We are very excited to welcome our Members and guests back into The Contemporary Jewish Museum in a way that is safe for both visitors and staff,” said Lori Starr, Executive Director of The CJM. “The architecture of The CJM itself is inspiring and welcoming, and is naturally suited to allow for comfortable physical distancing between groups of people. We opened two highly-anticipated exhibitions shortly before we had to close due to the pandemic, and are eager to share these wonderful shows with our visitors, in the hope that they will offer a respite from the many challenges people are facing right now. We  look forward to responsibly welcoming our community back to The CJM during a time when everyone could certainly use a little inspiration.”

The Museum has implemented safety measures that are in strict compliance with the City of San Francisco and the State of California guidelines to ensure the highest possible level of safety for visitors and staff. The Museum will re-open at 25% of its total capacity to accommodate physical distancing throughout the building, and visitors are strongly encouraged to book timed tickets online in advance for contactless admission. Member tickets will remain free, but Members are also strongly encouraged to reserve a timed ticket online in advance to ensure availability and limit person-to-person contact. Visitors will be asked to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet between individuals (unless in a stable group or family), and all visitors and Museum staff will be required to wear face coverings. In addition, The Museum has increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout the building and installed touch-free hand sanitizing stations at main entrances, elevator landings, and other frequent points of contact throughout the building. The Museum has also updated its HVAC and air filtration systems.

To reduce high-capacity gatherings and person-to-person contact, The CJM will continue to host programming online only, including the extremely popular visual lecture series, Sunday Stories, on Facebook and IGTV; Art for Lunch programs that take place periodically on Fridays; and exclusive virtual programs for Members and donors. In addition, The Museum’s education department will continue offering live virtual tours for school groups, which served over 1,700 teachers and students last spring. Those who prefer to remain at home will still be able to explore virtual exhibitions of Levi Strauss: A History of American Style and the newly-opened Predicting the Past: Zohar Studios, the Lost Years.

To accommodate proper sanitation procedures, The CJM will reopen on a reduced schedule of Thursday–Sunday from 11am–5pm. Wise Sons will be open seven days a week from 8am–2pm for takeout and outdoor dining only.  

About The Contemporary Jewish Museum

For over thirty years, The Contemporary Jewish Museum has engaged audiences and artists in exploring contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. In 2008 The Museum opened a new building designed by internationally-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, providing a lively center where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather to experience art, share diverse perspectives, and engage in hands-on activities. Inspired by the Hebrew phrase L’Chaim (“To Life”), the building is a physical embodiment of The CJM’s mission to bring together tradition and innovation in an exploration of the Jewish experience in the twenty-first century.

Major support for The Contemporary Jewish Museum is generously provided by Bank of America; The Covenant Foundation; Suzanne and Elliott Felson; Gaia Fund; Grants for the Arts; Walter & Elise Haas Fund; Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund; Jim Joseph Foundation; Maribelle and Stephen Leavitt; 706 Mission Co LLC; The Bernard Osher Foundation; Lisa Stone Pritzker Family Foundation; John Pritzker Family Fund; Dorothy R. Saxe; Seiger Family Foundation; Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture; United States Department of Homeland Security; and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Major support for The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Helen Diller Institute is generously provided by The Helen Diller Family Foundation.

Abby Margulies

Public Relations


Sarah Bailey Hogarty

Director of Marketing and Communications