Street Address
701 Third Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Mailing Address
701 Fourth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
phone: 202-789-0900
By advance reservation only
Tuesday - Friday12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Suggested $3/person donation
Free. Donations Accepted.
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Laura Apelbaum, Executive Director
Sam Abramson, Membership & Outreach Manager
Christiane Bauer, Curator
Mary Ann Dawedeit, Office Manager
Wendy Turman, Director of Collections
Claire Uziel, Special Projects Manage


We are the region's foremost destination and source for American Jewish history. We engage and inspire adults and children through our exhibitions, landmark historic synagogue, public programs, and educational initiatives. We collect, preserve, and share material culture that documents the story of the Jewish community in the Washington, D.C., region as a lens through which broader national and international history may be explored.


We explore the unique Jewish heritage of Washington as a hometown and as the nation's capital.


Founded by volunteers in 1960, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington was incorporated in 1965 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to interpreting Jewish history in the greater Washington area. In 1969, galvanized by the pending demolition of the oldest synagogue building in the nation's capital, Society members arranged for the historic building to be moved three city blocks to its present location (more photos of the move!). After extensive restoration, the synagogue was rededicated and opened to the public as the Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum in 1975.

Research Collections

The Society's collections trace the history of the Jewish community in the greater Washington, D.C., area from the mid-19th century through the present day. Through personal and family papers, organizational and business records, congregation and synagogue archives, historical photographs, oral histories, ritual objects, and a reference library, the collections document the unique nature of life in and around Washington, D.C.: a history that is local, national, and international.

Educational Programs

We offer walking tours, youth education programs (, exhibition tours, and other special programs. The upcoming calendar can be found at


Access: General Public

Appointment required: Yes


Our journal, The Record, was published annually or biannually for about 35 years.

  • Annual report
  • Making a Museum e-newsletter - approximately quarter


The tour takes place in the second-story sanctuary. Due to the age of the building, this space is accessible only via staircase. At this time, we are unable to accommodate visitors who cannot climb the stairs.


Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

Group Tours