Founded in 1996 as part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, the Iowa Jewish Historical Society (IJHS) is an award-winning organization that collects, preserves and educates audiences of all ages and backgrounds about the history of the Jewish people in Iowa. Over the course of the Society’s 20-year history, we’ve shared Iowa’s Jewish heritage with thousands of students, families, community members, and researchers.
Join Us for a Special Event
You’re invited to an evening of film, music and history at “Memories and Melodies of Auschwitz” on April 1, 2019. Hear from Celina Karp Biniaz, one of the last living survivors from Schindler’s List, and Alex Biniaz-Harris and Ambrose Soehn, pianists and composers of Melodies of Auschwitz. Admission is free but seating is limited.
Save Your Seat
Visit the Museum
Our museum in Waukee, Iowa features educational exhibits, programs, and special events that attract local, state, and regional audiences. Exhibits and programs focus on all aspects of Jewish life and history in Iowa. Each is designed to deepen a visitor’s understanding of Jewish history and culture for Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. Learn more about our location, hours and scheduling a visit.
Explore the Collection
The IJHS collection is an important part of the cultural history of Iowa and the key to understanding the contributions Jewish Iowans have made across the centuries. Since the 1830s, Jews have inhabited more than 100 cities and towns across the state, running successful businesses, raising families, and leaving their mark on Iowa history. See what’s in our collection, including Jewish oral histories.
Support the Iowa Jewish Historical Society
As we continue to celebrate our 20th anniversary, the IJHS needs your support more than ever to make our growing collection of artifacts more accessible and to ensure that they are securely preserved. You can help by becoming a member and making a donation today.