May 9, 2024

Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History Worked with Two Central Classes Throughout this School Year

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (May 9, 2024) – A new art installation at Philadelphia’s Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History (The Weitzman) features photographs by 60 students from Philadelphia’s Central High School.

The Weitzman served as ‘Museum in Residence’ throughout this school year in two “Theory of Knowledge” classes within Central’s International Baccalaureate program. The Museum’s Director of Education Rebecca Krasner worked with students to critically examine and celebrate American democracy.

Their images and writing in the installation respond to the question, “Where do you see the intersections of citizenship, community, and care in your lives?” This installation uplifts their voices and explores how young people express foundational democratic ideals.

The Weitzman is now presenting these photographs and short essays in Photographing Community: A Student Lens on Democracy in its 2nd floor atrium now through May 27. Students and their families enjoyed a private opening reception in April.

All of the photographs and writing are available for online viewing.

This project is inspired by the American Creed: Citizen Power multiplatform documentary initiative and forthcoming PBS series. Before the series launches, teens and young adults all over the country are taking photos that explore a range of essential American themes. Central High School students are among the first to participate in this national effort.


“Central is one of the most diverse high schools in the country and some of the students are themselves immigrants,” said Rebecca Krasner, Director of Education at the Weitzman. “While most of the students are not Jewish, many of their experiences parallel the stories that we tell throughout the Weitzman. We’re proud to incorporate their diverse experiences and voices into our galleries.”

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Established in 1976, and situated on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History is the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to exploring and interpreting the American Jewish experience. The Weitzman presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore, and celebrate the history of Jews in America. Standing as a joyful bulwark against antisemitism, bigotry, and hate, The Weitzman serves to connect Jews more closely to their heritage and to inspire in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which Americans aspire. 


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