Skyline of Arizona during a Pesach vacation

How to Celebrate Pesach in Arizona

Visit The Arizona Jewish Historical Society

There is a long and rich history of the Jewish community in Phoenix, and you can learn all about it at a visit to the Arizona Jewish Historical Society (AZJHS). The museum provides Jewish art and history exhibitions with over 50,000 photographs, documents, and artifacts. During your Pesach vacation, you can visit the center to listen to oral histories, watch video recordings, and gain a thorough understanding of what life was like for Jews in Phoenix more than a hundred years ago.

Explore Tucson’s Jewish Museum & Holocaust Center

If you haven’t gotten enough of Jewish museums after visiting AZJHS on your Pesach vacation, head to Tucson to check out their Jewish Museum & Holocaust center.

The museum’s primary focus is to educate visitors about the Holocaust and other genocides. In addition, it explores the legacy of the Jewish experience, specifically in Southern Arizona. The museum houses the first synagogue ever built in the Arizona territory and is a staple of human rights within the community.

The main exhibit for 2021-2022 is titled Asylum/Asilo, and it is featured in the Allene and Marianne Langer Contemporary Human Rights Gallery. Another exhibit, Meanings Not Yet Imagined, holds an evergreen spot at the museum and focuses on the connection between the Jewish experiences in Southern Arizona with local communities in the past, present, and future.

If you can’t make it to the museum in person during your Pesach vacation, no worries! The Tucson Jewish Museum and Holocaust center offers extensive online exhibitions and virtual tours. Visit their website to explore content such as a distilled video history of how Jews in Southern Arizona and memory maps of Jewish migration to the area.

You can learn more about the museum and the role it will play in your Pesach vacation here: https://www.jewishhistorymuseum.org/

The Cutler✡Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center

The Cutler✡Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center is located in the building that originally housed the first synagogue in Phoenix. Built in 1921, the structure was owned by Congregation Beth Israel, who used the space for prayer until they outgrew it 27 years later. It later became a Chinese-speaking Baptist Church, and after that, it was a Spanish-speaking Baptist Church. In 2001, the building was purchased by AZJHS, who restored it back to its former glory. The space was officially reopened in January of 2010 as a cultural and heritage center. Not only is the museum a great place to visit during your Pesach vacation, but it serves as a staple for the phoenix community year-round.

The center is a focal point for Jewish life in Phoenix. They bring guest speakers to local organizations and events, and they promote a positive vision of Jewish identity through education of its history. The space itself is also often oftused to host events such as B’nai Mitzvahs, weddings, corporate receptions, and more.

Even if you’re not spending your Pesach vacation in Arizona, you can participate in AZJHS’s virtual book clubs. In the past, they’ve discussed titles such as The Book of Lost Names by Kristen Harmel and the Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff. These discussions are open to the public and free for all!

You can add meaning to your Pesach vacation in Arizona by visiting the AZJHS. You can visit their website at this link (https://www.ou.org/communities/emFY6yCz1B/Phoenix,-AZ-United-States/ ). They are located at 122 E. Culver Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

Attend a Local Synagogue

Phoenix is home to dozens of synagogues, any of which would be happy to have you during your Pesach vacation! Here is a non-exhaustive list of some synagogues in the area:

  • Beth Joseph Congregation – 515 E. Bethany Home Road Phoenix, AZ, 85012
  • Ahavat Israel – 727 E. Glendale Ave Phoenix, AZ, 85020
  • Congregation Torat Emet – 526 E. Tuckey Lane Phoenix, AZ, 85012
  • Ohr HaTorah Congregation: –6741 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014
  • Shaarei Tzion Ohel Bracha – 6516 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ, 85014
  • Young Israel of Phoenix – 6232 North Seventh Street, Suite 107 Phoenix, AZ, 85014

Leisure Time Tours

If you are looking for a place to stay during your Pesach vacation in Arizona, contact Leisure Time Tours today for all your Kosher, Pesach, and holiday travel needs!


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