Visiting the Leo Baeck Institute

Scholars, genealogists, members, and the general public can use Leo Baeck Insitute’s collections directly in the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History or by visiting LBI’s free, rotating exhibits in the Katherine and Clifford H. Goldsmith Gallery.

The LBI is located at the Center for Jewish History at 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, on the north side of 16th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue. From the East Side, take the 4, 5, 6, N, R, or L subway to the Union Square stop and walk west one and one-half blocks. From the West Side, take the 1, 9, 2, or 3 subway to 14th Street/7th Avenue or the A, C, E to 14th Street/8th Avenue and walk north two blocks to 16th Street and then east one and one-half blocks (two and one-half from the A, C, or E). NYC transit information is available from the MTA. Several budget hotels are located within walking distance.

The offices of the LBI are open Monday through Thursday 9:00am – 5:00pm and Friday 9:00am – 3:00pm. The LBI is closed on national holidays and on Jewish holidays. Please make an appointment in advance when visiting the institute, as this schedule may change without notice.

Lillian Goldman Reading Room

Researchers can access LBI collections in the The Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. The reading room includes an open-stack reference collection consisting of 3,000 titles. The remaining holdings are closed-stack materials.

Information about the hours and policies of the Lillian Goldman Reading Room is available on the Center for Jewish History’s website.

Upon arrival, visitors should notify the security staff at the entrance of the Center that they need a visitor pass for the Reading Room. All visitors are required to fill out a registration card and agree to the Center’s terms for conducting research. For details, click here, then select “Rules and Policies”. An archivist or a librarian of the LBI can be reached from the Reading Room to assist researchers during LBI office hours. While at the LBI, the researcher is responsible for treating LBI materials with care and returning them in good condition to a LBI staff member. If a researcher requests material that has been microfilmed, the microfilm, and not the original material, will be provided. This policy is intended to preserve original materials that are rare or fragile.

We strongly urge all researchers to contact the LBI prior to their visit to make an appointment by emailing lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org. Space in the Reading Room is limited and researchers with appointments are given priority. Without an appointment, neither the LBI nor the Center can guarantee the opportunity to conduct research. In addition, prior notice of the desired research material (as found in the online catalog) gives the staff the opportunity to prepare the material in advance.

Researchers who are planning to use LBI’s extensive collection of microfilms are encouraged to reserve a microfilm reader/printer in advance. To do so, please call the Center’s Public Services Desk at 917-606-8217 or send them an email.

The Katherine and Clifford H. Goldsmith Gallery is Leo Baeck Institute’s public exhibition space at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. LBI’s rotating exhibitions are always free unless otherwise noted.

Gallery hours:

  • Sunday, 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • Monday and Wednesday, 9:30am – 8:00pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30am – 5:00pm
  • Friday, 9:30am – 3:00pm