Pesach in New York means the kids are off from school. Like many parents, I want to keep my kids occupied with quality activities, and have fun along with them. We are blessed with many wonderful museums in New York City, and my kids know that we always check out some while the Spring break is on.

Monday: my older daughter (age 14) went into Manhattan to meet her friends who live in Queens (they like to traipse around the Union Square and East Village areas). I took my younger daughter (age 12) to the Jewish Museum. She was reluctant to go; lately she's been a bit obstinate about certain religious and cultural activities. But I reminded her that the Jewish Museum is housed in this gorgeous former mansion, so she agreed to go. One of the exhibits we saw had a collection of kipot and a sizable grouping of mezuzot. I was pleased to see that she did find them interesting.

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Tuesday: my (secular) birthday, so my daughters and I went to the Museum of Modern Art, one of my favorite museums. Two friends and the son of one also joined us there. Among the artworks we saw were a few by Jewish artists such as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Ben Shahn. There were many interesting things to see here, and when got hungry we sat outside the cafeteria and ate some Pesach snacks. One museum volunteer gave us a long-winded scolding about this, but guards and employees walked by, and didn't give us a second glance.


Wednesday: My daughters and I joined an old friend and her daughter, and we all went first to the Museum of the City of New York, which had a few exhibits which touched upon the Jewish experience in New York. There was an exhibit of graphic and advertising work by Paul Rand, who was a Brooklyn native. There was a varied exhibit about the history of activism in New York, including the struggles of Jews. I pointed out some things to my girls about anti-Semitism and the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. They were dutiful about looking at the displays, but they were more interested in the photo exhibit of early hip hop stars.

After that we all traveled south to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and took notice of a 300-plus year old Hebrew book with lovely illustrations. At this museum I noticed many Jewish patrons, clad with kipot and sheitels, tzittzit and skirts. All kinds of people are checking out the museums during the spring break.

Do my kids think I clobber them over the head with the museum visits during spring break? Although they seem to enjoy going to museums, especially those focused on art, they do nag me about the shlepping around in the museums, the crowds (especially yesterday, whew!) and other minor gripes. But then I tell them that my mom would take me and my brother to museums during the school vacations, so it's a tradition to get out and about in New York City and absorb some of the cultural offerings.





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