Museum will tell story of Jews in Monmouth


FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Construction work is continuing inside a 150- year-old barn that will soon be reborn and enjoy a new life as the Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County.

Approximately 3,000 square feet of space in the mid-19th century Levi Solomon barn is being transformed into a space that will eventually tell the story of Monmouth County’s Jewish population.

The barn has been restored and sits in a prominent position in the Mount’s Corner shopping center at the intersection of Route 537 and Wemrock Road.

According to the museum’s Internet Web site, “The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County is dedicated to the promotion of public awareness of the county’s Jewish heritage for the education and enjoyment of both children and adults.

“Its mission is to present exhibits, programs and publications that celebrate, preserve, explore and illustrate the rich and unique history of the Jewish residents ofMonmouth County and their contribution to the community.”

Michael Berman, who is a co-president of the museum with Jean Klerman, said plans call for a combination of permanent and rotating exhibits at the museum.

Permanent exhibits are expected to include a timeline of the Jewish population in Monmouth County and an oral history supplied by past and present Jewish residents, farmers and business owners.

“We are hoping to be able to have a small performance space, children’s programming, arts and crafts, and an interactive space,” Berman said. “We are working with the Freehold Township Historic Preservation Commission to maintain as much of the barn as possible.”

The construction work within the barn’s museum space is being completed by Bernard Hochberg, who developed the Mount’s Corner shopping center and donated the space for the museum.

Berman said the museum board hopes to receive the space in May and to possibly be able to open the museum to the public in mid- to late-June.

The Jewish Federation of Monmouth County has helped to support the effort, as have local business owners and individuals, he said.

“These people support and believe in what we are doing,” Berman said.

The area in front of the museum was designed by Adam Klemons of Colts Neck as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Klemons sold personalized brick pavers that will be placed in the area along with benches, planters and flag poles. The American flag and a museum flag will fly at the site. A ceremonial flag raising will be held in the near future, according to Berman.

For more information visit www.jhmomc. org.