Synagogue appraisals

Judaica in Context offers personalized service when conducting insurance appraisals for synagogues of religious institutions.  We are also happy to speak to your board or house/art committee about the care, storage and possible disposition of art and ceremonial objects. We are also available to consult in the design and acquisition of new art commissions or in the purchasing of historic Judaica or artworks. 


Insurance Appraisals

Synagogues contain a wide range of  high value items. These may include:

  • Silver ritual objects

  • Torah Scrolls

  • Monumental sculptures and large, artistic pulpit decorations, including Ark Doors, Torah curtains and coverings

  • Fine Art adorning the walls of lobbies, offices and social halls.

  • Important historic papers, photographs, and documents

  • Rabbinical libraries

In most insurance policies, high value items are required to be scheduled separately with a current retail replacement value. In brief, retail replacement value is the amount it would cost an organization to replace a lost item with a similar item within a reasonable amount or time and within an appropriate market. 

We provide a digitized inventory of your  high value artifacts, ritual objects and art, according to location with information on the dimensions, historical identification​, current condition and provenance. We also translate and document all Hebrew and Yiddish inscriptions and identify maker's marks and signatures. If your object is similar to an object in a major Jewish art collection, we will also note that information on the appraisal. 


Aid in Identifying Unknown Treasures

Over the years, congregations often acquire many different types of "artifacts:" art, books, posters, historic photographs, ephemera (a fancy name for graphics) and more. Some of these artifacts may have gained interest in the art markets over the years. We can help identify unknown items and offer advice on transferring them to a museum or offering for auction. ​


Reliable Tagging for Rummage Sales

Has your synagogue acquired a lot of art works and you don't have room to hang them?  We offer walk-thrus and advice for downsizing synagogue contents including help in pricing for charity auctions and rummage sales. 


Here are some helpful articles for congregations who are facing the challenge of managing their historic ritual objects and archives.  


Elizabeth Kessin Berman, "A Time to Value and a Time to Creatively Value: Appraising Church and Synagogue Collections," in The Journal for Advanced Appraisal Studies, Spring 2010. 

So that you Shall​ Remember: Congregational Heritage Preservation, published by the Union for Reform Judaism.