Plan your visit to The CJM!
Photo: Andria Lo


School Tours

Available by reservation; in-person and virtual tour offerings available

ADMISSION: Free for K–12 Bay Area school groups through the 2023–2024 academic year; tours are $100 per class of twenty-five students for schools outside of the Bay Area

The CJM offers interactive in-person and virtual school tours that highlight art and exhibition content, as well as the architecture and history of The CJM’s building and surrounding neighborhood. All tours center connections to Jewish stories as a lens for exploring our diverse community and teaching inclusion through the arts.  



Adventures in Architecture 

Discover the rich stories of history and culture embedded in the architecture of The CJM’s landmark building. In this STEAM-inspired tour, students in grades K–2 can experience an interactive exploration of the shapes, building materials, and secret history of the The CJM’s architecture, culminating in a hands-on building design challenge that will engage students’ construction skills and creativity. The CJM is housed at the site of a former power station, originally built in 1881, that was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake and went on to power San Francisco back to life. Architect Daniel Libeskind built upon this foundation using whimsical angles and hidden Jewish symbols to create an intentional space for celebrating Jewish culture. This tour is aligned to the California History-Social Science Framework.

Learn More

Virtual School Tour: The Stories and Art of Ezra Jack Keats

This award-winning* virtual school tour with hands-on art making is back by popular demand! The Stories and Art of Ezra Jack Keats experience is an innovative way to integrate arts and literacy into your first and second-grade classrooms. This tour brings a CJM educator to your classroom over Zoom for an interactive tour of past CJM exhibition The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats, highlighting early literacy concepts, followed by a guided art making session inspired by Keats’s illustrations. The perfect complement to an Ezra Jack Keats author study, students will be introduced to Keats’s biography as the son of Jewish immigrants; his path to becoming an artist; and his choice to portray characters of color who reflected the Brooklyn neighborhood where he lived. This sixty-minute experience will engage students with an interactive tour, art making, and an optional break in the middle. Reserved SFUSD classes receive a free class set of art materials for the art making activity! Teachers are also invited to a workshop to gain the tools to bring this to your classroom. 

*Recipient of the 2022 Superintendent's Award for Excellence in Museum Education, awarded jointly by the California Association of Museums and the California Department of Education 

Learn More

Building Our City—San Francisco, Past to Present 

Students in grade 3–5 are invited to The CJM to discover the evolution of San Francisco into the city we know today. The city’s history has been shaped by the immense growth spurred by the gold rush, the effects of earthquakes and fires, and the diverse communities who have called San Francisco home. The CJM’s remarkable building, housed within a former power station, and the historic sites of the surrounding South of Market neighborhood, give students the opportunity to peek into the past and explore sunken ships, burial sites, the birth of electricity, and the stories of Jewish immigrants who found opportunity and kept their culture alive in San Francisco. The field trip begins with an outdoor exploration of nearby landmarks on the block where The CJM is located, followed by hands-on activities inside The Museum, and culminates in a design challenge that gives students a chance  to imagine their own city.  This tour is aligned to the California History-Social Science Framework.

Learn More

Neon, Art, and Light

Explore light, science, and culture with a tour and art making experience at The CJM. First, expand your students’ horizons through a tour of the exhibition First Light: Rituals of Glass and Neon Art, featuring the creations of artists working with neon! Students will learn about the properties of the noble gases, including neon, and the very physical and scientific process of creating neon artworks, and connect with the varied approaches of the artists to integrate their identities into their artwork. Then, we'll visit Radiant Practices: Illuminating Jewish Traditions to learn about contemporary Jewish culture through an exhibition on objects related to light in Judaism. Complete your experience with a light-inspired art making experience in the studio.

Learn More

Holocaust, Art, and Resistance Day of Learning

Holocaust, Art, and Resistance Day of Learning teaches Holocaust history, shares connections to contemporary Jewish culture, and centers the crucial role of the arts in fostering resilience and empathy. This three-hour program features a multimedia live concert of the music and stories of composers who perished in Nazi concentration camps, followed by a series of student activities that include a CJM architecture tour, an exhibition-based tour, and a guided art making experience. Students are invited to consider how history ties into their own agency and resilience today, and to think about cross-cultural bridging and combating discrimination in their communities. Students from visiting schools who play instruments are also invited to learn the music of any number of songs before the experience and perform alongside the professional musicians.

Learn More

Jewish Symbols, Architecture, and Local Heritage

Bring Jewish history and culture to life for your students through an immersive learning experience exploring the Jewish heritage embedded in the walls of The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM). During this tour, students will step inside our landmark building, a former power station, and be transported back in time to explore some of the unique stories of Jewish immigrants who journeyed to San Francisco on the heels of the gold rush. We’ll also dive into the whimsical angles and hidden Hebrew letters that make up The CJM’s building, and how they create intentional spaces for exploring Jewish art, culture, and ideas. Continue the adventure with a hands-on building design challenge where students craft their own Jewish symbology, reflecting on their Jewish/and other identities. Reserve your spot now for an unforgettable journey through time and tradition!  

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

Learn More

Judaism and Light

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 with First Light: Rituals of Glass and Neon Art; explore historic and contemporary Jewish ritual objects in Radiant Practices: Illuminating Jewish Traditions; and participate in an art workshop where they will draw 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. 

Learn More

School Tours Social Story

Prepare your class for field trips at The CJM with this step-by-step guide.

Teacher resources

Explore all of our teacher and school offerings including free, live virtual tours for K–12 students; short videos related to our exhibitions and curricula; a San Francisco city-wide bookmaking competition; educator professional learning opportunities; teen internships; teacher resource guides; and more, by clicking below. We will continue to add new offerings throughout the year, so be sure to check back for updates! 

Stay connected

For the latest updates on new programs and resources for educators, sign up for our mailing list below. To request more information or ask questions, please email


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.