The time has come, and the people have spoken! The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience has been voted one of America's 10 Best New Attractions in USA Today's Readers' Choice Awards. Winning 5th overall was already a huge accomplishment, but the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience also had the most votes than any other museum!
In all, there were 20 nominees chosen by a panel of relevant experts, leaving the public to vote for their best attraction. The Best New Attraction category included a varied list of nominees from across the country, from adventure centers and skate parks to museums and immersive experiences.
Despite the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience opening during a worldwide pandemic, their unique and dominant placement in American culture over shined it all. The culture-defined museum takes a deep dive into forms of immigration, commerce, and slave ownership, and the bonds of friendship between Jews and Gentiles in the South. The museum artistically tells stories of Jews being a significant driver in commerce in Charleston, New Orleans, Richmond, and Savannah. The artifacts within the museum teach basic tenets of faith creatively with pieces such as a hilarious Ask Bubbe touchscreen to stained glass windows inspired by synagogues throughout the South.
The museum also showcases the connection of Jews and Blacks in the South through exhibitions about Jewish professors at historical Black colleges and Jewish leaders in the civil rights movement. Of course, with the museum being in New Orleans, there is also a nod to Mardi Gras because both Black and Jews were barred from riding since krewes ran it.
Within the deep cultural roots the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience offers, the award is a tremendous honor to receive from the museum just opening in May 2021. The quick recognition of MSJE opening throughout a pandemic is essential for cultural exploration and a significant tourist destination. In a press release, the newly high-ranked museum in the country stated that it appreciates the support from the people of New Orleans, supporters across the South, and thousands of visitors from around the world.
For more information about the museum and upcoming events, visit msje.org.