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Museum of Jewish Montreal

The Museum of Jewish Montreal announced on Monday that it has been informed that it must leave its space by the end of June.

The building’s landlord told the museum that he sold their property to a new landlord, who ordered that the museum vacate its premises by June 30, according to the museum, which is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“So much of our museum has been built around transformative in-person educational and cultural experiences,” said the museum’s executive director, Zev Moses, and president, Sara Tauben, in an open letter to the museum community. “We have moved quickly to bring as many of these activities as possible online, launching a series of digital cultural and social events (to which nearly 1000 people have already attended in the past six weeks).

“We will soon be introducing online tours and educational experiences for school groups and visitors from around the world,” they continued. “Thanks to a variety of grants, our student fellowships, microgrants and community engagement work that helps our community connect to Jewish life will continue online as well.”

Moses and Tauben said that while the museum’s upcoming closure “may come as a shock to you (as it did to us),” the museum is “ready to deal with this unexpected development” and has “already looked at several alternative spaces that can host the more than 25,000 annual visitors we normally receive for our cultural gatherings, tours, exhibitions and food events.”

For the moment, they said, “we have chosen to focus our activities online until the time is right to reopen a physical space. This will allow us to stay nimble and conserve resources while we continue to deliver on our mission.”

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