Plan your visit to The CJM!
Stephanie Lifshutz, Eternal Flame (Ner Tamid), 2017. Courtesy the artist.


School Tour: Judaism and Light

For students in grades K–8, mixed age groups, and families; available by reservation Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, December 14, 2023–April 28, 2024

ADMISSION: Free for Bay Area K–12 school groups through the 2023–2024 academic year

Discover the significance of light and its power as an elemental force in Jewish ritual through objects and art (including neon artworks)! Students will see how different artists use light as a form of ritual, spirituality, and illumination in the exhibition First Light: Rituals of Glass and Neon Art, while learning about the properties of the noble gases and the very physical and scientific process of creating neon artworks; and explore historic and contemporary Jewish ritual objects in Radiant Practices: Illuminating Jewish TraditionsFinally, students will participate in an art workshop drawing on inspiration from the galleries, igniting their creativity and connecting with light through artistic expression.

This tour is geared toward Jewish synagogue, day schools, and youth groups, but is open to all school groups. 

For similar tours geared towards broader school groups, please see Neon, Art, and Light.

Book Your Tour

Book your tour using the button below, or visit our School Tours page to see all of our tour options. 

More Teacher Resources

The CJM offers an array of free, downloadable resources designed to prepare students and teachers to view exhibitions, and to support your tour experience.

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For questions or help making a reservation, call 415.655.7857 or email

About the Exhibitions

First Light: Rituals of Glass and Neon Art

First Light: Rituals of Glass and Neon Art explores art making as a devotional practice, presenting breathtaking works that connect both artists and viewers to spirituality, wonder, and universal questions of human existence. The exhibition features artworks in neon, glass, and plasma, large-scale sculptures, and installations that invite you to learn about fascinating scientific processes while inspiring deeper contemplation of the role of light in our quest to understand our place in the universe. Experience awe, make spiritual connections, and discover the science and craft of neon and glass artwork.

An artwork composed of a glass bubble and long piece of neon resting on a pile of grey salt

Mollie McKinley, Sunrise Over Resting Body​​​​​​​, 2022.

Radiant Practices: Illuminating Jewish Traditions

Radiant Practices: Illuminating Jewish Traditions traces the foundational role of light in Jewish life and ritual, both historically and today. Journey through a collection of Jewish ritual objects, from menorahs to memorial candles, that offer insights into practices that draw on light to mark Jewish holidays, lifecycle moments, and spiritual spaces. Presented in The CJM’s Stephen and Maribelle Leavitt Yud gallery, the exhibition brings new meaning to the presence of natural light within this symbolically rich gallery while offering new reflections on the forms of light that illuminate Jewish ritual.

A photo of the windows in The CJM's Yud Gallery

Major support for K-12 School and Teacher Programs is generously provided by the California Arts Council; California Bank & Trust; William Randolph Hearst Foundation; Barbara and Ronald Kaufman; The Bernard Osher Foundation; Pacific Gas and Electric Company; The Ullendorff Memorial Foundation; and Yerba Buena Community Benefit Fund.