New York City, New York
Hanukkah has produced two of the best known iconic symbols in Judaism: the Menorah and the Dreidel. Collectors of menorahs and dreidels can be found throughout the world. Not surprisingly, the best and most famous collection of each can be found in New York City. One, the Safran Dreidel Collection, is the result of the dedication of Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, who runs the surprisingly extensive exhibit out of his own home. The other, the Hanukkah Lamp Exhibit at the Jewish Museum, is a priceless collection of Jewish artifacts that span five centuries.
The Jewish Museum in New York is one of the museums of Judaica art and artifacts on Earth. Among their many exhibits is the world’s largest collection of Hanukkah lamps. Over five-hundred menorahs, many of which are on permanent display, represent a walk through Hanukkah history. Beginning with a 16th century lamp from Italy, there are five-hundred years worth of menorahs from all over Europe and throughout the world. The most famous is the Lindo Lamp, a work in solid silver dating from 1709.
A hop, skip and a jump away, on Boro Park Street in Brooklyn, is the home of Rabbi Eliyahu Safran and his wife. The front two rooms of his home, to the surprise of many visitors, is used for the diplay of the Safran Dreidel collection. Over a thousand dreidels from all over the world are on display. There are simple, hand-crafted pieces by amateur artisans to magnificent examples by world masters, such as pieces of Italian blown glass.
The Jewish Museum is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, along New York’s famous Museum Mile. It is open daily (except Wednesdays) from 11:00am-5:45pm (early closing on Fridays). Admission is $12.00 for adults. Children under twelve are free. As of this writing no visitor information was available for the Safran Collection. Web: www.thejewishmuseum.org (official website of the Jewish Museum).