Israel News

Discover Amazing History with the Israel Museum

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem holds some of the most incredible historical collections in the world, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, an accurate model of the Second Temple, and other ancient Jewish artifacts.

Connect with history from afar with this guide to the Museum’s top exhibits as well as special Museum gifts that you can order exclusively though Judaica WebStore!

Entrance of Israel Museum building in Jerusalem, Israel


The Israel Museum was founded in 1965 is not just Israel’s premier cultural institution, but one of the world’s leading encyclopedic museums, with the largest collection of Jewish and Israeli art and archaeology in the world. Its collection spans the entire history of the Jewish people from ancient times to today, including world-famous exhibits of ancient Biblical texts as well as Jewish historical artifacts from around the globe.

Shrine of the Book: Dead Sea Scrolls & Other Ancient Jewish Texts
Jerusalem - Israel

The inside of the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum, made to resemble a Torah scroll


One of the most famous and popular of the Museum's permanent exhibits, housed in its own separate building, is the "Shrine of the Book" - a collection of Biblical manuscripts spanning in time from the ancient Roman era to the medieval period.

This exhibit includes the famed Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest written Biblical manuscripts in the world, dating to from the 3rd century BCE through the 1st century CE. These texts, recovered from Israeli caves not far from the Dead Sea, are considered among the most important archeological finds ever, holding immense historical, religious, and linguistic significance.


One of the Dead Sea Scrolls housed in the Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum


In addition, the Shine of the Book also houses other important Biblical artifacts, including parts of the Aleppo Codex. This copy of the Bible in book form was written in the 10th century CE, and is considered to be the most authoritative copy of the Hebrew Bible to include punctuation and pronunciation marks.


Can't see the Shrine of the Book in person? Check out books and other items made by the Israel Museum dedicated to the exhibit, including a replica of one of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the jar it was found in!

shrine of the book
Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period
Model of the Second Temple

Model of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple during the Second Temple era, at the Israel Museum


Another iconic part of the Museum that many tours, visitors, and locals alike make sure to stop at is the vast and historically accurate model of the city of Jerusalem from the Second Temple era, along with a model-scale recreation of the Temple itself. The full model reconstructs both the topography and the architecture of Jerusalem right before its destruction by the Romans in the 1st century CE.

This stunning recreation has helped countless visitors see one of the most famous eras from Jewish and Israeli history up close!


Close-up of the Second Temple as reconstructed outside the Israel Museum in Jerusalem


Can't see the Second Temple model in person? Check out the Israel Museum's bestselling book on its construction, full of stunning photographs!

Historical Judaica

The Israel Museum presenting a replica of an 18th-century Polish brass menorah from its collection to the future King Charles III of England


One stunning aspect of the Israel Museum's holdings that can perhaps be even easier to directly relate to is its extensive collection of Judaica artifacts, spanning many centuries and found in excavations all over the world. And what's more, the Museum has chosen a number of these pieces to replicate and adapt to modern usage, so that that anyone can buy them and connect with Jewish history while performing Jewish rituals!

The Museum's Judaica artifacts include a highly acclaimed collection of historic Hanukkah menorahs, which have given the Jewish world a valuable glimpse into how our communities have celebrated the Festival of Lights in the various places and eras that our ancestors have lived in. Some of these menorahs have unique shapes and themes - like triangles or chair designs - and some surprising materials, like stone or repurposed metal scraps.

Other stunning Judaica artifacts at the Israel Museum include centuries-old, intricately painted ceramic Seder plates, traditional shabbat candlesticks, historic haggadahs, dreidels, house blessings, and more.

A replica of a ceramic Passover Seder plate from 18th-century Germany, from the Israel Museum's collection


Love Jewish history and rituals? Check out the Israel Museum's replicas and adaptions of historical Judaica that you can use in your own home!

Other Notable Collections

The Israel Museum has an extensive collection of modern Israeli art


While the above examples are the most famous of the Israel Museum's exhibits, some other collections you're sure to love include:


Can't come to Jerusalem in person? Check out all of our incredible Israel Museum gifts, available for purchase worldwide through an exclusive partnership with Judaica WebStore!



Why Do We Eat Matzah on Passover?
Love Passover and Jewish topics? Sign up for our emails over on our main site to get all our top content and
Group of aircraft fighter jet airplane. Israel flag. Independence day. 3d illustration
10 Incredible Facts About the Israeli Air Force
One of the most famous branches of the Israel Defense Forces is the Air Force, considered among the best in
Building Pyramid in Egypt in ancient time use men to be slave the whole day,cartoon version
The Slavery of the Israelites in Egypt from a Historical Perspective: Guest Post by Dr. Liora Ravid
The story of the Exodus, told in the Book Exodus and the Book Numbers, is certainly one of the most
jewish family celebrating passover
10 Surprising Facts About the Passover Seder
The Passover Seder is the most important ritual of Passover, and one of the most famous and iconic of Jewish practices.
AdobeStock_70708520 cropped
Explore the Special Stones of Israel
Happy hanukkah icon set, flat style
Jewish Holidays 2024: What's Coming Up Next & What You Need to Know
While most of the world goes by the Gregorian calendar, Jewish holidays and time are measured in an entirely different