This spring, the Johnson County Museum is doing something new with its largest artifact, the 1950s All-Electric House. Starting March 26 through May 1, the table in the dining room will be set for the Jewish Passover Seder (“order” in Hebrew), which is centered around food, rituals, singing, and storytelling.
This temporary display builds on a long-standing tradition of rotating objects displayed inside and outside the house on a seasonal basis, including a retro Christmas display that thousands enjoy each year. This is the first time that Passover – or any other Jewish holiday – has been incorporated into the All-Electric House.
The museum partnered with Johnson County’s Congregation B’nai Jehudah and the Klein Collection for the display. This includes the Seder table setting inside as well as a special exhibit of three pieces from the Klein Collection featured just outside the All-Electric House. The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah is one of the oldest Reform Jewish Congregations in the nation. Founded in Kansas City in 1870, it is the oldest synagogue in the Kansas City Metro area. “Community partnerships are an essential part of our work at the Johnson County Museum,” said Museum Director Mary McMurray. “They provide opportunities for us to learn, to grow, and to see our artifacts in a new light.”
In addition to the Haggadah, symbolic foods, and other items specific to the Seder, the table setting inside of the house will include china patterns originally exhibited in the All-Electric House when it opened to the public as a model home in 1954.
The display in the All-Electric House will be open to the public from March 26 through May 1. On March 31, the museum is offering a program called “Passover Traditions” with Klein Collection curator Abby Magariel and Congregation B’nai Jehudah’s Rabbi. This is a free virtual program, but participants must pre-register to receive the program link. Call (913) 831-3359 or register online at JCPRD.com.
The Johnson County Museum is a department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District and is located within the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.