Diaspora Museum
Beit Hatfutzot in the University of Tel Aviv


The Diaspora Museum has been declared by the Israeli Parliament as “The National Center for Jewish Communities in Israel and around the World”.

In Hebrew Beit Hatefutzot, the Museum of the Jewish People, connects Jewish people with their roots and therefore strengthens their Jewish Identity.  It is located in the University of Tel Aviv in the prestigious neighborhood of Ramat Aviv.

The Building housing the in the University of Tel Aviv

The Diaspora Museum
The Story of the Jewish People and their Culture

A visit by every Jew or Non-Jew that visits Israel is a most. A person visiting the museum leaves much more illustrated about Judaism and the History of the Jewish Communities, than reading several books.

The Museum, located on the University of Tel Aviv campus, conveys to the world the story of the Jewish people and their culture, faith and purpose, while presenting the enormous contribution of the Jews to Humanity.

Click here to Share your Story

As part of exhibit of Synagogue models this is the one in Aleppo, Syria


The Mission of Beit Hatefutzot

  • To present and display the ongoing 4,000 year-old story of the Jewish people – past, present and future.

  • To nurture a sense of belonging among Jewish visitors and to strengthen Jewish identity.

  • To serve as the central address for Jewish discourse, engagement and learning for Jewish individuals, families, communities and organizations from Israel and around the world.

  • To foster understanding of the Jewish people and support for Israel as the Jewish state among all visitors.

The database of the museum includes geographic and demographic as well as historic data about the Jewish Communities. It ranges from communities that do exist anymore to communities that were established recently.  From those that were wiped out during the Holocaust to those thriving communities of the world today.

It covers all continents from the most remote corner of the South Pacific to the high mountains of Asia; from Europe, Africa, North and South America. A few of the communities show stories of more than 3,500 years ago. The Museum portrays the Jewish life throughout the centuries. They do it in a spectacular way.

It is without a doubt an extraordinary tool to preserve Jewish communal and cultural memory for generations to come.

The Titus Arch Menorah exhibited in the Diaspora Museum

Impressive Database of Jewish Family Names

The Memi De-Shalit Database of Jewish Family Names is the only digital collection of Jewish family names in the world. This unparalleled, world renowned collection of Jewish last names contains nearly 20,000 entries and is still growing.

The database includes information on the origin and meaning of family names used by Jewish families from scores of different cities and in many different languages.

The database holds rich and varied facts and anecdotes about common and rare Jewish names, and a host of fascinating information about name etymology, word variants, name migration, and earliest known occurrences. In addition, it gives users a thrill of discovering Jews throughout history that have borne the same family name.

The database of Jewish family names is the result of more than twenty years of dedicated work by many experts, most of them volunteer with Beit Hatefutzot.

The explanations are based on a wide array of sources, scientific researches, Jewish traditional sources and more. It is also built on information supplied to the museum by members of the public.

As a rule, no explanation has been included into the database unless it is attested by at least two independent sources. Once you are in the Museum you will be able to personally retrieve information about your Family name. You will be thrilled with the results.

Model of the Paradesi Synagogue of Cochin, India

When and Where

The Diaspora Museum is located on the campus of Tel Aviv University
Klaussner Street in Ramat Aviv
The entrance is through Matalia Gate 2

  • Tel:  972 3 7457808
  • Fax: 972 3 7457811
  • Opening Hours: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 10 AM - 4 PM

    Wednesday: 10 AM - 6 PM

    Friday: 9 AM-1 PM
  • The Museum is closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

Image Credits:
building by teicher
titus arch by sodabottle
aleppo synagogue by sodabottle
paradesi synagogue by sodabottle

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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