Kohanim Not to Visit Liberty Science Center Starting June

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The following is a message sent to Matzav.com by Liberty Science Center, with particular pertinence to readers who are kohanim:

Liberty Science Center has long been a favorite place for Jewish families seeking wholesome and fun science learning activities. The large numbers of guests we see here, especially at Pesach and Sukkos, attest to the trust your readers have in us.

We want everyone to know that from June to January, we will be hosting an exhibition called “Bodies Revealed.” The show features real human forms, organs and skeletons preserved for display and educational purposes. These are the same kinds used in medical schools, such as at the University of Michigan.

The show will be enclosed in a separate gallery on the fourth floor, so it will be in a closed -off space, but our Jewish visitors should know that it is here before they plan a visit during this time period. The specimens are expected to arrive in early June 2016 and will be completely out of the building by January 31, 2017.

We are announcing this now to offer complete transparency to members of the Jewish community and welcome any comments they may have.

Matzav Note: Liberty Science Center is an interactive science museum and learning center located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City in Hudson County, New Jersey. The center, which first opened in 1993 as New Jersey’s first major state science museum, has science exhibits, the largest IMAX Dome theater in the United States, numerous educational resources, and the original Hoberman sphere, a silver, computer-driven engineering artwork designed by Chuck Hoberman.



  1. Are the remains exhibited in Liberty Science Center Jewish. It’s mostly accepted that non Jewish bodies are only metamay b’maga not b’ohel. They cause tuma by being touched not by being under the same roof.

    Sam Kossofsky

  2. The headline is misleading because it presumes a halachic psak that this exhibit poses a tumah b’ohel problem.
    Since when are (presumably according to rov) non-jewish bodies metameh b’ohel?
    While I agree that LSC did the right thing by alerting the Jewish community to a potential issue, Matzav should not be publicizing the issue with a headline presuming it is assur for kohanim to go there. That unfairly deprives Jewish groups of what may be perfectly good trips, and deprives LSC of the very customers they have gone out of their way to accommodate by sending out this letter.

  3. We are generally machmir to follow the shitta that goyim are mtamei b’ohel when it comes to recreation (hospitals etc are a different story)

  4. The generally prevalent minhag of kohanim is to be machmir acccording to the shita that goyim are mtamai b’ ohel.

  5. I am not sure it is possible to be 100% sure. Those bodies are donated by people who signed paperwork stating they’d consent to plastination and subsequent public display for scientific outreach and edutainment. I hope very much they all were well-meaning Gentiles, but in our days it is not something we can be certain.
    On a different note, I saw the advertising of a similar exhibit (and their FAQ, such as “are the bodies real” and “how were they obtained”) and I am sure it’s awesome for medical enthusiast (MDs see all they need to see in school) but for laypeople, I am not so sure, and in fact, we did not go. Would be interesting to hear visitor’s opinions after the exhibit opens.


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