HOURS

Reading Room & Genealogy Institute
Mon-Thurs: 10am-4pm

Exhibit Spaces
Mon-Wed: 10am-4pm
Thurs: 10am-8pm
Fri: 10am-3pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: 11am-5pm

Make sure to check our holiday closures prior to visiting.

Last entry to the Center for Jewish History exhibition spaces is 30 minutes before closing.

Volunteer Opportunities

A tour consists of a visit to the exhibitions of the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (Yeshiva University Museum has a separate docent program) and the public areas of the Center (usually the Leo & Julie Forchheimer Auditorium, the Paul S. & Sylvia Steinberg Great Hall, Lillian Goldman Reading Room, Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute, and the Shelby White & Leon Levy Collection Management and Conservation Wing). Guides who lead these tours are knowledgeable about the facilities and the mission and scope of activities of the Center for Jewish History, and they are able to describe the exhibitions in the Partner’s exhibition cases. Tour guides give approximately 1 -2 tours each month and attend periodic training sessions on new exhibitions.

Ushers work at special events held at the Center. They take tickets and give out programs and may perform other tasks, as needed. The usher is welcome to stay and view the performance. Most events requiring ushers are held weekday evenings or on Sundays. Each usher is responsible for being available 45 minutes before the event to several minutes after the event begins. They may occasionally be asked to stay after the program to help with a reception or book sales.

The Visitor Experience Volunteer sits at the desk in our main lobby, assisting staff with tasks such as greeting and orienting visitors, answering and directing phone calls and keeping track of visitor statistics. Visitors to the Center for Jewish History typically include researchers using our library/archive, visitors to our exhibitions, and people arriving for appointments with staff. Shifts are usually 2 hours long and applicants should be comfortable using a computer. Occasional standing to direct guests is required.

Office assistants work in various offices throughout the Center. Tasks may include coordinating mailings, addressing and stuffing envelopes, filing, answering phones and making phone calls, handling RSVPs to events, data entry and related office tasks. Some offices are seeking researchers and assistants for special projects. The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute needs volunteers who are experienced with family history research to assist patrons. Librarians may need volunteers to catalog books and related tasks. Required hours are worked out with the individual departments.

Responsible for greeting and orienting patrons from around the world to the Center’s Lillian Goldman Reading Room and Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute. Other responsibilities include checking the computers, stocking the brochures and mask supplies, reshelving reference books, and replenishing research guides. Foreign languages are a plus. In their downtime, Greeters can work on their own family history with the assistance of genealogy staff and volunteers and have access to many websites including Ancestry and Jewish Gen. Volunteers are responsible for one 3-hour shift per week, either 10 am - 1pm or 1 - 4pm.

Requirements For Volunteers

  • Time commitment level: either on a project/event basis, or consistently, with at least one shift per week, ideally same day each week.
  • Attire: professional/casual, unless otherwise specified.
  • Communication skills: must have excellent speaking skills; knowledge of foreign languages a plus, though not required.
  • An interest in Judaism, education, culture, the arts and history.

Benefits For Volunteers

  • Complimentary tickets to concerts, films and other events when available.
  • Free admission to museums in New York City and elsewhere for the volunteer and a guest.
  • Invitation to our annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and other special events.
  • Contact with a broad spectrum of individuals and groups.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Center, please contact Julie Kaplan, Manager of Public Programs and Volunteers, at jkaplan@cjh.org or call (917) 606-8226.