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a Berman’s Closet_identity and marketing

MGMT. 14 December 2018


MGMT. 14 December 2018

Inside: Beyond Our Walls Notorious RBG Arrives What’s Our Obligation? SPRING 2019


Pictured here is an object from our collection. Can you tell what it is? Submit your guess to and be entered for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to our Museum Store. Watch for the answer to be revealed in our May e-newsletter!


04 Beyond Our Walls 06  Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg 06 Overdue Honor 07 Freedom Seder, 50 Years Later 08 Sara Berman’s Closet 12 What’s Our Obligation?

14 Member Memory 14 Remembering Dr. D. Walter Cohen 15 Passionate About Judaica 16 Photos of a Momentous Year 17 Staff Profile 18 Calendar of Events 19 Reflecting on Success: Annual Report

OUR MISSION: The National Museum of American Jewish History, on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore, and celebrate the history of Jews in America. Its purpose is to connect Jews more closely to their heritage and to inspire in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience and the freedoms to which Americans aspire. Cover Image: Excerpt from Sara Berman’s Closet. HarperCollins, 2018.

From the Director “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” — MARCUS GARVE Y

W E H O P E T H I S I S S U E O F B E ACO N , like the Museum

Ivy Barsky speaking at the 2018 Only In America Gala honoring Renée and Joe Zuritsky. (Kelly & Massa)

itself, honors the past in a way that inspires the future. Recently I met with a millennial Museum supporter who reminded me that there are a lot of young people who really care about preserving history. They cherish their grandparents’ generation, and they want to make sure that their forebears’ stories are being told. This edition of Beacon does just that. You’ll learn how Elsie Shemin-Roth has honored her father William Shemin’s story of heroism during World War I by donating his uniform and Medal of Honor to NMAJH, where his story will continue to be told in our core exhibition. Maira and Alex Kalman’s project with the Museum, Sara Berman’s Closet, is a small and monumental story that honors Maira’s mother and Alex’s grandmother. Sara Berman left a comfortable married life in Tel Aviv at age 60 to find a room of her own in New York City (page 8). In a beautiful, whimsical, and profound way, the Kalmans tell Sara’s story of making a life of meaning and finding the courage to go on. Read our tribute to D. Walter Cohen (page 14), an incredibly accomplished and humble man, without whom NMAJH simply wouldn’t exist in its current form. Walter inspired hundreds of dental and periodontal students, did good works wherever he was (like building bridges between Arab and Jewish doctors in Israel), and was a great example to everyone who encountered him. He never forgot his history and left a remarkable legacy—through his family, his students, and the institutions he supported, including ours. On page 17, get a more personal glimpse into the work of a treasured staff member, Cobi Weissbach, affectionately regarded as the “mayor of NMAJH.” Cobi says he does this work because he “wants his kids to know they’re a part of something bigger.” That’s just what the Museum does scores of times a day and tens of thousands of times a year—reminds us that we are each an essential part of a bigger story. Warmly,

Ivy L. Barsky, CEO and Gwen Goodman Director SPRING 2019


Beyond Our Walls

The Museum’s innovative educational programs are serving an ever-wider national audience By Rachel Urkowitz, Manager of Education Programs and Events

What does Religious Freedom Look Like? 01 PROCLAIM LIBERTY How would you proclaim liberty thoughtout the land?

“Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

‫וקראתם דרור בארץ לכל–ישביה‬ Leviticus 25:10

02 A HISTORIC LETTER Do you think Washington’s words are still relevant today?

The Innovative Learning of OpenBook Our education department develops innovative programs that feature primary sources and original artifacts from our collection—held both at the Museum and far beyond our walls. With these resources, we are uniquely positioned to provide schools with educational tools for the instruction of American Jewish history that can be found nowhere else. For example, after working with educators around the country on a pilot version of our national curriculum, last summer we unveiled OpenBook: Discovering American Jewish History Through Objects. Designed primarily to serve middle and high school classrooms, OpenBook is based on objects from the Museum’s collection. This approach stimulates curiosity and critical thinking through inquiry-based learning, exposing students to the real material traces of our shared histories. OpenBook is structured in the spirit and style of traditional Talmudic study, havruta, in which partners discuss and debate meanings and interpretations of texts. In our OpenBook adaptation, the partners use a Museum artifact in order to learn American Jewish history and consider it in the broader context of American history and culture. You can see a sample page from the Religious Liberty lesson at right. This format invites

participants to approach history in unexpected ways and to connect what they learn to their own ideas and experiences. “[These lessons] definitely helped give more context and reinforce that skill of attention to detail for analysis,” says Liora Chessin, a National Educators Institute (NEI) 2016 alumna who used our lesson on immigration with her middle school class. “I was really impressed with the conversation a group of our seventh grade girls had,” she added. “Thank you for such a great resource!” The Museum was honored to receive renewed funding from the Covenant Foundation for NEI and

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, RI, August 1790

03 THIS MONUMENT IS OUR PROTEST It is the crowning glory of our Constitution that it guarantees perfect religious equality to all, not from passing reasons of expediency, but on the high ground of justice and humanity…. This monument is….our protest against any unlawful encroachment upon the civil rights of American freemen. Adolph Sanger, chairman of the B’nai B’rith Centennial Committee, unveiling the statue Religious Liberty in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, November 30, 1876


Discovering American Jewish History Through Objects

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ON TRIAL 08 Abercrombie refused to create an exception to its neutral Look Policy for Samantha Elauf ’s religious practice of wearing a headscarf.…Elauf received the same treatment from Abercrombie as any other applicant who appeared unable to comply with the company’s Look Policy. Justice Clarence Thomas, opinion in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, February 25, 2015

What does it mean to be neutral? Can you think of a situation when you shouldn’t treat everyone the same way?

he Museum proudly serves more than 10,000 students in our building annually. We are a resource for Jewish educators around the country and aim to be the national leader in bringing the teaching of American Jewish history into classrooms. We strive to empower students to see themselves in the larger story of American life and inspire a sense of pride and connection to their own heritage.

TEAR DOWN THE 07 WALLS When my predecessors asked to be part of the Jewish community they were rejected, reviled, ridiculed. I made it my mission to tear down the walls that kept us out. Rabbi Capers Funnye Jr., spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of Chicago, April 29, 2016

CORE VALUES 06 Freedom of religion is absolutely a core value of our nation. What we’re concerned about is the weaponization of that right. Weaponization that allows for and encourages discrimination and harm. Religious freedom is NOT freedom to discriminate. #LGBTQ Posted on Lambda Legal’s official Twitter feed, 2018

Can you identify other examples of social media being used to express opinions about religious freedom?



PARTICIPATE? In America, where religion is totally Religious Liberty sculpture in front of the Museum’s glass façade I think it is wrong for Moses Jacob Ezekiel, Religious Liberty, 1876, The City of Philadelphia voluntary, where reliPhoto courtesy of Jeff Goldberg/Esto the federal governgious diversity is the norm, where everyone ment to force Chrisis free to choose his or her own rabbi and his or her tian individuals, businesses, pastors, churches to parown brand of Judaism—or, indeed, no Judaism at ticipate in wedding ceremonies that violate our all—many…have assumed that Judaism is fated soonsincerely held religious beliefs. We have to stand up er or later to disappear. Jonathan D. Sarna, American Judaism: A History, 2004 and fight for religious liberty. Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, on NBC’s Meet the Press, June 28, 2015





MORE RESOURCES for EDUCATORS OpenBook is only one of the Museum’s many educational initiatives:

Above: NMAJH education staff and docents lead visitors in an art project on a packed July 4 at the Museum

OpenBook. Covenant is one of the most prestigious funders in the arena of Jewish education, and we’re exceedingly proud to be recognized for our work. Ten OpenBook lessons are currently available—at no cost—on the Museum’s website. Eventually, a total of 18 lessons will be offered, usable as individual lessons or as a full curriculum. Current subjects include religious liberty, immigration, civil rights, America and the

OpenBook is structured in the spirit and style of traditional Talmudic study, havruta, in which partners discuss and debate meanings and interpretations of texts. Holocaust, and the Civil War—all issues with contemporary relevance, enabling teachers to facilitate classroom conversations about history that provide context for current events. OpenBook can likewise be used outside the classroom. The lessons provide opportunities for friends and families to promote thoughtful conversations around complicated issues. We encourage you to visit our website and download these free lessons—a resource to you, too, whether you work with school-age children or adults. —— Major Funding for OpenBook: Discovering American Jewish History Through Objects provided by the Covenant Foundation. For a full list of funders please visit

NEI ON THE ROAD: NMAJH’s National Educators Institute, which has brought more than 160 Jewish educators from across the country to the Museum to reinvigorate their teaching, now also reaches educators where they live. Over the past two years, NMAJH has provided a daylong mini-institute—a condensed version of the summer NEI program—to educators in Boston, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Saint Louis. About 100 educators from more than 50 schools and institutions in those cities participated. SUITCASE TO GO: Three years ago, the Museum launched our Traveling Suitcase program, sending replicas of our artifacts to classrooms in the Philadelphia area and thereby engaging students in stories about Jewish immigration to the United States. Now the Traveling Suitcase ventures even further afield, visiting public schools, Jewish day schools, and Hebrew schools in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and more. In the last year alone, 45 classrooms took part in the program, allowing us to reach nearly 3,000 students. Each suitcase is sent with lesson plans and materials for teachers to implement on their own; or if teachers prefer, a Museum educator can provide a live video conference. Pamela Rothstein, a teacher at Falmouth Jewish Congregation, in Massachusetts has used the program with her students for the past three years, and she recently wrote to us, “As an educator, I say yasher koach [‘well done’] to you and your staff!” To learn more about our educational resources, please contact

EDUCATION IS STRONGER THAN HATE The past year was an incredibly challenging one for the Jewish community, and last October’s tragic events at the Tree of Life Synagogue are never far from our minds. In these difficult times, we continue to do what we know and do best: focus on education. —R.U.



Notorious RBG Arrives

NMAJH will be the first east coast stop for a new exhibition about Justice Ginsburg


Notorious RBG book cover illustration by Adam Johnson. Courtesy of HarperCollins. Photographs: Crown © by Hurst Photo/Shutterstock; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

racing a career that traveled from trailblazer to pop-culture icon (RBG bobble head, anyone?), the upcoming special exhibition Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first museum retrospective about the extraordinary life of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg. Originated by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name, the visually rich and entertaining exhibition explores RBG’s legacy—including her days as a student, her pioneering work as a lawyer and advocate for women’s rights, and her precedent-setting role on our nation’s highest court. The second woman—and the first Jewish woman—to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg often notes how she has been influenced by the Jewish principle tikkun olam, which she defines as “the obligation to improve the world carefully and steadily, to do one’s part to make our communities, nation, and universe more humane and more just.” Justice Ginsburg, a longtime member of the Museum, is represented at NMAJH every day from a photograph of a young Ruth Bader as summer camp rabbi to her contemporary narration of a film devoted to Justice Louis Brandeis. Notorious RBG  will be on view at NMAJH October 4, 2019 through January 12, 2020. —— Bring your group to RBG: Discounted tours for parties of 15 or more. Slots are filling up quickly—book your Hadassah group, Men’s Club, or book club today. Email



Sergeant William Shemin’s Medal of Honor has returned to Philadelphia from Kansas City, Missouri, where it was on display at the National WWI Museum and Memorial as part of the traveling NMAJH exhibition 1917: How One Year Changed the World. Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, in 1896, Shemin played semipro baseball, graduated from the New York State Ranger School, and worked as a forester. 6




He enlisted in the American Expeditionary Forces in October 1917, making him one of 250,000 American Jews who served in World War I. While under heavy machine-gun fire near the Vesle River in France, Shemin repeatedly risked his life to rescue wounded comrades and took command of his platoon after its officers were killed. Shemin himself was wounded when a bullet pierced his helmet. For

Freedom Seder, 50 Years Later The Contemporary Resonance of Ancient Ritual By Emily August, Director of Communications and Public Engagement


n April 4, 1969, the third night of Passover and first anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, hundreds of people of varying backgrounds and faiths—black and white, Jewish and Christian— gathered in the basement of an African American church in Washington, D.C.They had come to participate in an unusual Passover seder, at which the traditional Exodus narrative was interwoven with texts that spoke to a contemporary struggle: black America’s fight for equal rights. That landmark celebration is known today as the original Freedom Seder. Rabbi Arthur Waskow, an organizer and leader of that historic event, had taken content from a haggadah (the established text that guides the order of the seder) that he had been given as a young man, and combined it with stirring writings by Dr. King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nat Turner, and others, seamlessly meshing ancient ritual and current events. The haggadah that Rabbi Waskow assembled for that evening was subsequently published, and a firstedition copy is on display in the Museum’s Freedom Now gallery, which tells the story of the civil rights movement and Jewish activism during that period. That 1969 seder and its haggadah have inspired hundreds of contemporary variations. his bravery, he received the Purple Heart and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. After the war, Shemin graduated from Syracuse University and started a successful greenhouse and landscaping business in the Bronx, New York, where he raised his three children. One of those children, Elsie Shemin-Roth, is proud that her father was honored for his service but says that he also experienced antisemitism “that was part of the [American Jewish World War I] story.” Shemin-Roth believes

Arthur Waskow speaks at the Museum’s sold-out Freedom Seder Revisited.

For the past six years the Museum has hosted an annual Freedom Seder Revisited event, in which curated first-person storytelling and performances take the place of the traditional service. Topics have included immigrant stories, personal reinvention, the power of art in social change, family, and more. Those interested may find inspiration in these stories as they prepare for their own Passover observance this year. Visit   for videos from previous years’ events.

that prejudice prevented her father from receiving the Medal of Honor during his lifetime, and she worked for years to right that wrong. Due to his daughter’s tireless advocacy, William Shemin was finally awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 2015 by President Obama, along with Private Henry Johnson, an African-American soldier whose heroism went unrecognized due to segregation and prejudice. Shemin-Roth, who had loaned her

father’s medal to the Museum for the 1917 exhibition, has now entrusted NMAJH with carrying on her father’s legacy, donating to the Museum his Medal of Honor and additional items related to his military service. “After careful review of many museums over four years, I have signed a deed of gift to NMAJH,” says Shemin-Roth. “I believe it is important to show that William Shemin was not only a military hero, but a proud American Jew.” Opposite: See William Shemin’s Medal of Honor displayed on the Museum’s third floor.








cclaimed illustrator, author, and designer Maira Kalman is famous for her wildly popular illustrated essays about American icons George Washington and Benjamin Franklin; her witty covers for The New Yorker; and her playful, inventive children’s books. Now she has added another role to her resume: history museum curator. Kalman recently served as co-curator of the Museum’s newest special exhibition, collaborating with her son, Alex Kalman, an artist, curator, and co-founder of Mmuseumm, a small museum of modern archeology in a New York City alley. You may not find it surprising that the Kalmans’ NMAJH exhibition is intended to inspire reflection and inquiry about identity, immigration, freedom, being American, and being Jewish. But you might be surprised to learn that the centerpiece of the project is a faithful re-creation of Maira’s mother’s closet. Sara Berman’s closet was an ordinary one, filled with shirts, shoes, pants, and perfume. But it was also unconventional: Every item in it was white or whitish, crisply folded, precisely organized. Unconventional, too, is the fact that a replica of the closet is the cornerstone of the NMAJH exhibition. It is being presented outside on the Museum’s Kimmel Plaza—facing the iconic buildings of Philadelphia’s Historic Independence Mall. The outdoor installation at NMAJH preserves Sara’s personal possessions as they had been fastidiously kept during her life. Additionally, the special exhibition gallery features sculptures, installations, vignettes, and paintings by Maira Kalman, as well as Sara’s personal items from her apartment.

M E A N I N G I N T H E M O N U M E N TA L A N D THE MUNDANE A perfume bottle. An iron. A bra. How can one woman’s closet speak to the American Jewish experience? Sara Berman (1920–2004) was born in Belarus. At age 12, she and her family moved to Palestine. There she witnessed the creation of the state of Israel and raised her two daughters. At age 60, Sara divorced her husband and moved to the United States to live on her own, reinventing herself in New York City’s Greenwich Village. One morning, in a burst of independence and self-expression, Berman decided she would only wear white. Sara Berman’s Closet is a story of one woman and her sense of self. “It’s an exploration of how one person found her way of living in an unexpected fashion, and how the small things— watches, letters, and shoes—can reveal the big things,” Alex observes. “Her story is the story of all Jews,” Maira adds. “How do you find the courage to make a new life? What is important to us? We ask those questions in this exhibit.” It was the Museum’s location—which literally roots the stories of American Jewish life in the broader context of American history and culture—that was exciting to the Kalmans. Positioned across from Independence Mall, adjacent to the sites where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed, the installation juxtaposes and weaves together an ordinary immigration story of a twentieth-century Jewish woman with the stories of the country’s eighteenth-century founding fathers.

Above: Excerpt from Sara Berman’s Closet. HarperCollins, 2018. Opposite: Sara Berman’s Closet. Courtesy Mmuseumm. SPRING 2019


Maira and Alex initially exhibited Sara Berman’s Closet at Alex’s Mmuseumm and then at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, followed by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. In addition to the public installation on the Mall, the display fills the Museum’s special exhibition space and features additional works throughout the core exhibition. Being sited in Philadelphia, the cradle of American democracy, gives Sara Berman’s Closet—and her life—new meaning. “The public can engage with the closet outside as a freestanding monument to freedom and independence,” Alex says… and as a reminder, Maira adds, “that the grandest arena doesn’t happen without the intimate arena.”

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Written by Stephanie Levin, a freelance writer who is a frequent contributor to Beacon. Generous support provided by Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman. Major support provided by Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan, Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer and Joseph Neubauer, Patti Askwith Kenner/Indian Trail Charitable Foundation, and Erving and Joyce Wolf Foundation. Additional support provided by the Kraus Family Foundation; Boyds Philadelphia; and Warby Parker. And many others, who came together in a burst of joy to support this project. Above and opposite: Excerpts from Sara Berman’s Closet. HarperCollins, 2018.

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ABOUT THE EXHIBITION Sara Berman’s Closet    will be on display at NMAJH from April 5 through September 2, 2019. In addition to the Closet, the show includes a lobby display, whimsical handwritten messages by Maira and Alex sprinkled throughout the core exhibition, more of Berman’s personal items, and a rich display of Maira’s fanciful paintings of her mother’s life. WHY A CURATOR CARES ABOUT A CLOSET Dr. Josh Perelman, the Museum’s chief curator and director of exhibitions and interpretation, feels that the Closet is a strong vehicle for storytelling. “We were inspired by Alex and Maira’s expression of history from an artist’s perspective, as well as the relevance of Sara’s story to the Museum,” Perelman says. “It’s what we do here every day—mining material culture for stories. Collaborating with the Kalmans is a fabulous and unexpected way for a history museum to explore aspects of memory and identity that so many of us can relate to.” He adds that working with Maira and Alex “has been an incredibly fun and inspirational curatorial process.” THERE’S A BOOK, TOO The illustrated book Sara Berman’s Closet (HarperCollins, 2018) by Maira Kalman and Alex Kalman serves as a catalog for the exhibition. Signed copies are available through the Museum Store in-person and online at

OPEN FOR INTERPRETATION Sara Berman’s Closet is part of the Museum’s OPEN for Interpretation program, which invites creative thinkers from across genres to bring history to life through their unique lens. OPEN’s goal is to broaden access to the Museum and inspire the public at large to engage with history in innovative and unexpected ways. Past OPEN projects include: Tiffany Shlain and Ken Goldberg/The Whole Cinemagillah, JJ Tiziou/Faces of Migration, Dito van Reigersberg and Andrew Nelson/It’s High Time I Said Something: Martha Graham Cracker’s Intervention at the Museum, and Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez/Hemmed Up: Stories Through Textiles.

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What’s Our Obligation? NMAJH Director Explores the Complicated Issues Facing Museums Today By Ivy L. Barsky, CEO and Gwen Goodman Director


hat voice should the Museum have on any issue—be it the current political climate, rising antisemitism and xenophobia, or threats to religious liberty? As a career museum professional, my modus operandi has always been to present history in a way that encourages visitors to make their own connections to contemporary issues. There are sound reasons—our aim to deliver good pedagogy and be a “big tent”—why our exhibitions generally avoid drawing conclusions and intentionally leave that work to the visitor. For one thing, we know that museumgoers have a better, more meaningful experience when they connect personally to the subject matter and come to their own conclusions. Surveys even tell us that what visitors remember most from a museum tour is what they, themselves, said. Studies also show that museums are among the most trusted institutions in the world. People rely on us to be truth tellers, and we never want to risk that credibility. That’s why we at NMAJH carefully distinguish, in exhibitions and programs, between originals and facsimiles and opinions and facts. So, if and when we respond to current events, how do we do that in a way that preserves our reputation for trustworthiness and reinforces our “neutrality” in the best possible sense of the word—our role as a place where people with diverse views gather to learn and draw their own conclusions? How explicitly should we as a museum draw those conclusions for visitors? When marchers chant, “Jews will not replace us”—as they did in Charlottesville—is it our job to connect the dots and say we’ve seen this before? When we see Jews, African Americans, immigrants, religious and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people, and other communities being maligned and threatened, do we—as a community whose mantra is 12




“Never forget”—have a moral obligation to remind people and raise their consciousness about the fact that when we’ve heard this before, the results have been catastrophic? What issues do we “own” enough to speak out on? What is our role when violent acts of hate toward Jews or other minorities occur? Many groups are charged with policy advocacy. That’s distinctly not our role. Taking action for us is, by necessity, more nuanced. It means providing values-driven education using our Core Exhibition and other educational assets to engage more than 10,000 school-children annually with the stories of American Jewish life, and to train policy makers and law enforcement officers so that their work is informed by the history we present. It means putting George Washington’s words affirming the right to religious pluralism front and center on our Independence

Should museums comment on current events? A prompt to NMAJH visitors in our Contemporary Issues Forum. Visitor responses at left.

“The very best education gets people to think, rather than telling them what to think. It’s less immediate, less expedient—but it’s stickier and Mall façade. And it means marshaling our security and human resources to be open for business on a day when a neo-Nazi rally at our front door prompted many other institutions on the Mall to close. The very best education gets people to think, rather than telling them what to think. It’s less immediate, less expedient, but it’s “stickier” and more powerful. As an educator whose medium has been museums for 30 years, I’m now asking the question: In the current climate, is that sufficient? ——

more powerful...I’m now asking the question, in this current climate, is that sufficient? Do we have that luxury?”

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Send your observations, thoughts, and comments to





An Unexpected Story Adam Bergman


wo years ago, Adam Bergman visited the Museum for the first time. An investment banker who lives in San Francisco with his wife Julia and two young children (pictured at right), Bergman had been impressed by the Museum’s mission from afar, and he and Julia had become founding members in 2010. Until 2017, however, he had never been inside the building. During that visit, Bergman says he was amazed—and overwhelmed—by the powerful story the Museum tells. “I think of all the places where Jews have struggled throughout the world for millennia, and yet [my family] came here and was able to become successful. Today, Jews are members of the business community, Congress, the Supreme Court.” Given the challenges the Jewish people have faced historically, he says, “it’s such an unexpected story.” Adding to Bergman’s excitement on that first visit was the Museum’s display of George Washington’s famous 1790 letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island, in which he endorses religious freedom in the new nation. Bergman notes that “Seeing the letter only strengthened my view” of the first president. Bergman’s children recently told their father that they both hope to become president of the United States one day. When Bergman was growing up in West Hartford, Connecticut, in the 1980s, he recalls, “I couldn’t imagine a Jewish person aspiring to be

president. And my children don’t think twice” about being limited because they are Jewish. “It’s easy to take that for granted,” he says, adding that he hopes to bring his family—members of San Francisco’s historic Congregation Emanu-El—to the Museum during its annual trip east. Bergman visited the Museum a second time last year. This time, he was struck by the special exhibition Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music. Though he and his wife frequent the San Francisco Symphony, “I knew very little about him beyond West Side Story,” Bergman says. “I learned an enormous amount.” —— Take a virtual tour at, and find an interactive exploration of George Washington’s letter at —— Have your own Member Memory to share? Tell us about your meaningful moment. Email

Remembering Dr. D. Walter Cohen By Claire Pingel, Chief Registrar and Associate Curator

WITH PROFOUND SADNESS AND DEEP GRATITUDE for his distinguished service, the NMAJH community said good-bye last year to our stalwart supporter Dr. D. Walter Cohen. For three decades, the Museum was fortunate to have the friendship and support of Dr. Cohen, who passed away on June 29, 2018, at the age of 91. 14




Dr. Cohen served as the president of the Museum’s Board of Trustees for 10 years, launching the capital campaign that led to our present building on historic Independence Mall in Philadelphia. His friendly demeanor, professional wisdom, thoughtfulness, and humility were cherished not only by NMAJH staff members but also by all who came in contact with him during his frequent visits to the Museum. A dedicated Philadelphia native, Dr. Cohen followed in his father’s

Passionate About Judaica

Max Berry’s collection connects him to the global Jewish experience By Stephanie Levin

“A Jew is a man without a country.” Those words were spoken to Max Berry’s fourthgrade class by its teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the early 1940s. In protest, young Berry—the only Jewish student in his school—responded, “I’m a Jew, and I have a country. I’m an American.” Berry’s grandfathers William and Saul were Orthodox Jews who came to New York City from Lithuania in the 1890s in search of a better life. Later, the promise of “black gold” (oil) lured William to Oklahoma, where Jews were extremely rare. “My granddad’s story is very much the story of the Jewish immigrant at the turn of the century,” Berry says. “Growing up in the Bible Belt during the Depression and World War II, I was a minority in a difficult time in American history,” Berry recalls, adding that teachers, administrators, and peers “didn’t even understand what a Jew was.” He was subjected to physical violence and anti-Semitic jeering at recess by the other boys. Arguing with his teacher earned Berry a trip to the principal’s office. He was then tasked by the principal with teaching the other students about Jewish holidays. For the next two years, Berry educated the entire school about being Jewish. At the end of elementary school, he was given the school’s “Best Citizen” medal. Today Berry is a retired lawyer in Washington, D.C., and splits his time between the nation’s capital, New York City, and Nantucket, Massachusetts, with his wife Pamela. He is a patron of the arts and has

served on the boards of numerous renowned museums and non-profit organizations. A lover of architecture and history, Berry first visited NMAJH in 2014 and thought, “My God, what a feat to accomplish such a modern building” devoted to American Jewish history. He was also struck by what the institution had accomplished in a short period: “I know it’s not easy to build and grow a museum.” A self-professed incurable collector, Berry now estimates he has amassed nearly 35 collections, including American and European art and Asian antiquities. “Of all the things I collect, I am more passionate about Judaica,” Berry says, noting that he has nine rooms filled with Jewish ritual objects. “People form a relationship to Judaism when they touch and study the objects,” he observes. And collecting Judaica connects him, he feels, to his family’s own immigration narrative, and to its place in the story of the American Jewish experience.

Above: Max Berry shares his collection with Ivy Barsky, NMAJH CEO and Gwen Goodman Director.

footsteps when he chose to pursue dentistry. His studies at the University of Pennsylvania inspired him to teach generations of students there. In addition to serving his alma mater as dean of the School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Cohen taught and advised at numerous academic institutions around the world and was a former Drexel University College of Medicine trustee and Medical College chancellor. He was still seeing patients at the time of his death, a sign of his passionate dedication to service in his field. When Dr. Cohen chose to celebrate his 90th birthday at the Museum in December 2016, his friends, family, colleagues, and students from across the globe were able to express some of what he meant to all of us. “We know that our Museum would surely not be what it is without Walter, and that he leaves a legacy even larger than his life, which is saying a lot,” recalls Ivy Barsky, NMAJH CEO and Gwen Goodman Director. “His inspirational words to our volunteers just a few weeks before his passing were so ‘Walter’—humble and wise—about the importance of American Jewish history, our Museum, and volunteerism. After speaking, he hopped off the stage—really, he hopped! And that’s how we remember him: actively engaged, kind, and full of life. May his memory be for a blessing. ” SPRING 2019


2018 at NMAJH: Photos of a Momentous Year

Members of all ages are delighted by the interactive Rube Goldberg machine on the title wall of The Art of Rube Goldberg during the Members’ Opening on October 10, 2018. (Matthew Christopher Photography) John George and Jennifer George celebrate their grandfather, Rube Goldberg, at the opening of The Art of Rube Goldberg. (Matthew Christopher Photography)

Roberta Dranoff, Julia Gutstadt, and Carl Dranoff at the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the naming of the Roberta and Carl Dranoff Boardroom at NMAJH.

Curator Ivy Weingram (right) shows Leonard Bernstein’s daughters Jamie (center) and Nina (left) the special exhibition Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music at the opening in March 2018. (Matthew Christopher Photography)

Left to right: Susan Weiss, NMAJH Chief of Staff; Maira Kalman; Josh Perelman, NMAJH Chief Curator, Director of Exhibitions and Interpretation; and Alex Kalman discuss Sara Berman’s Closet on the Museum’s Kimmel Plaza during an initial visit last spring.

NMAJH Trustee Meredith Slawe and her family look on as the Museum accepts their donation of a new artifact, a baseball signed by the 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers World Series team in memory of her father, Alan Rubin.

The entire family gathers around Renée and Joe Zuritsky as they are honored for their philanthropy at the 2018 Only in America Gala held at the Museum. (Kelly & Massa)





Students hold up their copies of books donated by the Lundy Law Foundation after enjoying a performance of Courageous Choices: Finding Your Creative Voice by Khalil Munir. This program was generously sponsored by the Foundation for the 2018 year.


Your planned gift, no matter the size, will help the Museum to preserve precious artifacts, present thought-provoking exhibitions, and ensure diverse educational and cultural programming for future generations. To learn more about the Legacy Society, or how to make a legacy gift to NMAJH, please visit plannedgiving, or contact Cobi Weissbach, Director of Development, at




Cobi Weissbach Director of Development

Cobi Weissbach began working at NMAJH in 2007, when the current building was, he recalls, “just a set of blueprints and a story.” Tasked with growing the Museum’s founding membership base, he had expanded the rolls by thousands in a matter of months. Today, Cobi and his team proudly boast a member retention rate of greater than 85 percent—almost unheard of in the field—which he credits to the powerful stories the Museum tells. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Cobi received a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and history, with a minor in Jewish studies, from the University of Pittsburgh and went on to earn a master’s degree in Jewish communal service at Brandeis University. Early influences: Cobi was raised in an academic

home. His father, Lee Shai, was a professor of French history but turned his research toward American Jewish life. “Judaism was the center of our family life,” Cobi says, and it became the center of his life, too; he soon decided to devote his professional life to Jewish community leadership. Favorite part of the job: “I believe in the story we

tell here. I know it intimately, and I’m incredibly proud of it. When I give tours and share the Museum with others, I’m listening to visitors and weaving in new bits and pieces I hear, finding new ways of connecting our guests with the story.” Show your support for the educational programming of the Museum with a named seat in the Dell Theater. With a four year commitment of $1,800 or more per year to the Museum’s 1654 Society, your name, or the name of a person you would like to honor, will be elegantly engraved on a plaque affixed to the back of a seat in the Dell Theater, in addition to other benefits. So, “Take-a-Seat!” To learn more, please visit, or contact Brooke Schostak, Major Gifts Officer, at

Growing up at NMAJH: Cobi’s children, ages 11, 8,

and 2, “have grown up at this Museum. It’s important to me that they know they’re part of something bigger than themselves and our family; they are a part of this national story.”

The story of his name: Cobi’s Hebrew name is Yakov

Tzvi, after his grandfather Jacob (Yakov) and greatgrandfather Harry (Tzvi). In Israel, where many of Cobi’s family members live, “Cobi” is a common way to combine the two names: “Cob” from Jacob, and “i” from Tzvi. SPRING 2019



Calendar of Events Special Events

Exhibition: Sara Berman’s Closet

April 5, 2019 • Open to the public Members’ Curator Tour Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Members at all levels are invited for a private curator-led tour of Sara Berman’s Closet.

Dreamers and Doers featuring Neil Blumenthal, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Anonymously endowed by a friend of the Museum and admirer of all Dreamers and Doers. Media sponsor:

“The Meaning of Stuff”

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A special evening featuring “My Mother’s Closet” Story Slam. Thanks to First Person Arts for their promotional support of this event.

On Fashion, Family, and Freedom

4th Annual National Educators Institute

July 7 – July 10, 2019

We invite educators from across the U.S. to apply for this free, innovative professional development program.

Every Year

Martin Luther King Jr. Day This free day every January is filled with family-friendly performances, arts and crafts, spotlight talks about social justice, and more. Next: January 20, 2020

Free February Escape the cold and enjoy free admission to the Museum throughout the entire month of February!

Presidents’ Day

Jewish American Heritage Month Celebrate every May with a visit to the Museum. The 2019 theme is American Jewish Illustrators. Visit for more.

July 4 Independence Day A free, all-day celebration. This year with Maira Kalman and Alex Kalman!

Being ____ at Christmas Join us for crafts, storytime, live music, and more, every December 25!

Sensory Friendly Family Days Self-guided sensory friendly experiences in the Museum’s core exhibition, featuring quieter sounds, cool-down spaces, sensory friendly backpacks, and more. 2019–2020, dates TBA

A free family day honoring our nation’s presidents where you can explore an original letter written by George Washington to the Jewish community. Next: February 17, 2020

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Join longtime friends, neighbors, and creative forces Isaac Mizrahi, Maira Kalman, and Alex Kalman, for an onstage conversation and book signing.


Visit the Museum anytime with our online Virtual  Tours! Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music: Core exhibition on Google Arts and Culture:





Above: Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, performs in the Museum’s Dell Theater in 2018. (Katey Fahringer)


A N N UA L R E P O R T • F I S CA L Y E A R 2 0 1 8 ( J U LY 2 0 1 7 T H R O U G H J U N E 2 0 1 8 )







48 volunteer docents

NMAJH hosted its third annual National Educators Institute (NEI) for 25 educators from nine states. Museum staff also conducted two traveling NEI seminars in Detroit and Boston, attended by 85 teachers from 30 schools, and other Teacher Professional Development programs.


2,800 hours to the Museum and give a variety of tours including drop-in highlights tours, school group tours, adult tours of the core exhibition, and special exhibition tours.

NEWLY DEDICATED SPACES Roberta and Carl Dranoff Boardroom Jane, Stuart, Elizabeth, and Rachel Weitzman First Families Gallery


“We love the Museum, which is why we bring kids all the way from Richmond, Virginia, to visit.” —TEACHER IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

The Museum presented 100 programs, including lectures, film screenings, family days, Young Friends events, sensory-friendly activities, and more.

The Museum received

6,522 GIFTS

from more than 5,000 individuals, families, foundations, and so on.


were from first-time donors.

We served a total of

13,178 group visitors in FY18, exceeding last year’s total. This number includes 10,742 students and 2,436 adults.

“I am a new member at NMAJH.…My partner is of Jewish background.…I became a member of NMAJH because over the last year, I have watched the Museum stand up against bigotry. I believe the best way to change hearts and minds is to preserve American history while encouraging self-reflection and honesty. Thank you for the work you do. Thank you for standing up.” — DANIELLE IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA




A N N UA L R E P O R T • F I S CA L Y E A R 2 0 1 8 ( J U LY 2 0 1 7 T H R O U G H J U N E 2 0 1 8 )

Special Exhibitions


Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Beachwood, OH, opening September, 2019 Brandeis University, Waltham, MA


Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music has been made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.


5,000 visitors for FREE Museum family days Mandell JCC, with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, West Hartford, CT Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue, Washington, DC Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL Iowa State Historical Museum, Des Moines, IA

“All my students have been exploring their own immigration experiences and language experiences, and I think this field trip would be an excellent opportunity for them to see that others have come to the United States for many reasons, struggled, and succeeded. The benefits for my students coming to your museum are immeasurable!” —TEACHER, SHAFER MIDDLE SCHOOL, BENSALEM, PA





ON Martin Luther King Jr. Day Presidents’ Day Indpendence Day Christmas


families and organizations rented the Museum for private functions, including weddings, mitzvahs, corporate functions, nonprofit fundraising events, and more.



$100,000 to $1,000,000+ Betsy and Phil Darivoff Dranoff Family Foundation Penny and Robert Fox Sidney Kimmel Foundation Lauder Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Lyn M. Ross Robert Saligman Charitable Foundation Jane, Stuart, Elizabeth, and Rachael Weitzman Wilf Family Foundations

$50,000 to $99,999 Betsy and Edward Cohen Comcast Corporation The Covenant Foundation Richard A. and Susan P. Friedman Family Foundation Geller Family Foundation The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia The Lazarus Charitable Trust Ronay and Richard Menschel The Neubauer Family Foundation Jane and Daniel Och Family Foundation Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Carrie and Matthew Pestronk Marcia and Ron Rubin The Snider Foundation

$25,000 to $49,999 Abramson Family Foundation Christie’s Cozen O’Connor Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP The Jill and Mark Fishman Foundation The Foundation for Jewish Culture Lori and Bruce Gendelman Sandra E. Goodstein Jeffrey and Marjorie Honickman Elissa and Thomas Katz The Lindy Family Origlio Beverage Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family

Foundation Lisa Popowich and Jonathan Stein The Edward John and Patricia Rosenwald Foundation Tracey and Shanin Specter Lisa and Richard Witten Roy J. Zuckerberg Family Foundation Renee and Joseph Zuritsky

$10,000 to $24,999 Hallee and David Adelman Susanna Lachs Adler and Dean Adler Asper Foundation Bank of America Ivy L. Barsky Blank Rome LLP Faye and Gerson Blatnick Public Programming Fund Eli and Edythe Broad Carolyn and David Brodsky Solomon & Sylvia Bronstein Foundation Sandy and Sid Brown Charina Endowment Fund, Inc. Robert Lloyd Corkin Charitable Foundation Renee and Lester Crown EisnerAmper LLP Ellison Family Foundation Firstrust Bank FS Investments The CHG Charitable Trust, as recommended by Carole Haas Gravagno Hess Foundation, Inc. The Honickman Foundation Lynne and Harold Honickman Independence Foundation Insperity Karev Foundation Marjie and Robert Kargman The Eleanor M. and Herbert D. Katz Family Foundation Inc Elaine Wolk Kaufman The Kestenbaum Family Foundation Kline & Specter Sidney Kohl Family Foundation, Inc. The Kraus Family Foundation Lucius N. Littauer Foundation The Lundy Law Foundation

The David and Sondra Mack Foundation Inc Samuel P. Mandell Foundation Cheryl and Philip Milstein The Mitchell & Hilarie Morgan Family Foundation Philip Balderston Offit Capital Palm Restaurant of Philadelphia, Inc. Susan Pernick The Raynes and Dubow Families Marian and David Rocker Ross Family Fund Robin and Mark Rubenstein Sherrie Savett Savitz Family Foundation Jennifer and Brett Schulman Bubbles M. Seidenberg Rebecca and Daniel Shapiro Specter Foundation Grant Thornton LLP Bruce E. and Robbi S. Toll Foundation Tisch Foundation, Inc. Universal Health Services Inc. Leesa and Leon Wagner Ethel Weinberg Wilmington Trust / M&T Bank

$5,000 to $9,999 Joseph Alexander Foundation, Inc. Anonymous Arronson Foundation The Honorable and Mrs. Stuart A. Bernstein Helen and Jack Bershad Shirlee and Bernard Brown Hedda and Hugh Chairnoff Nancy and Irving Chase Schwartz Creed Foundation Jane Davis EisnerAmper LLP Arnold and Lynn Feld The David Geffen Foundation Arlene and Stanley Ginsburg Fran and William Graham Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance The Hassel Foundation Independence Blue Cross International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 Liz and Matthew Kamens The Sylvia Kellem

Memorial Fund Keystone Property Group Susan and Leonard Klehr Jane and Leonard Korman Family Foundation Ellen and Donald Legow Max E. Levy and Family Jeffrey Lurie Family Foundation Josephine and Newton Minow MRP Realty Judy and Bud Newman Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, LLP Ellen and Mark Oster Parkway Corporation Barbara and Jerry Pearlman PECO Pennsylvania Council on the Arts The Philadelphia Cultural Fund Philadelphia Insurance Companies Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Norman Raab Foundation Michael Ross and Sherri Jurgens Ross Melissa and Douglas Sayer Barbara and Edward Scolnick Bruce Bierman and William Secord Seed the Dream Foundation Constance Smukler Barbara Sugarman Perri and Michael Swift The Tobin Family Foundation Sharon and Paul Waimberg Harriet and Laurence Weiss Rebecca and Aaron Weitman

$2,000 to $4,999 David and Kim Adler Peter and Jan Albert Family Foundation Anonoymous Asset-Map, LLC Beneficial Bank Harold and Renee Berger Foundation Barbara Berkowitz Sandra A. Bloch Lilia and Barry Bloom The Julian A. & Lois G. Brodsky Foundation The Julius & Ray Charlestein Foundation, Inc. Suzanne and Norman Cohn

Colliers International Cindi and Glenn Cooper Goldie Anna Charitable Trust DFDR Consulting Duane Morris, LLP Mitzi & Warren Eisenberg Family Foundation, Inc. Susie and Ambassador Edward Elson Teryl Floerchinger Annette Y. Friedland The Joseph and Anna Gartner Foundation The Edwin M. Gilberg Family Foundation Arnold and Doris Glaberson Global Tax Management, Inc. Archie Gottesman and Gary DeBode Harriet and Bernard Gross Hinda and Eric Haskell Jacobs Music Company Michael F. Joynt Fineman Krekstein and Harris PC Jonathon and Rachel Levine Fran and Leon Levy Ruth Libros Christopher Ludwick Foundation Leni and Peter May Charlene and Nathaniel Mayer Susan and James Meyer Linda and H. Laddie Montague Louis Nayovitz Foundation Nancy and Harold Oelbaum Ann Oster Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue Hotel The Philadelphia Foundation Ellyn Phillips Judith Pisar Daniel Promislo Rethink Staffing LLC Barbara and Marc Rothman Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC Joy Sardinsky and S. David Fineman Charles Schwab & Co. Erica and Eric Schwartz Marsha and Stephen Silberstein Avi Silberstein Fabienne and Douglas Silverman

Sporting Club at the Bellevue Abbie and Fred Stein Swift Food Equipment Josephine Templeton Verde Capital Corp Susan Weiss Goldsmith Weiss Foundation Erving and Joyce Wolf Foundation Merry Ross and Patrick D. Zimski Rivka Saker and Uzi Zucker

$1,000,000+ Lifetime Donors The Annenberg Foundation The Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation Shirlee & Bernard Brown Hope Lubin Byer City of Philadelphia Betsy & Ed Cohen Betty Ann & D. Walter Cohen Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Herbert I. Corkin Sandy & Stephen Cozen & Family Betsy & Philip Darivoff Delaware River Port Authority Alexander & Lorraine Dell Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Marie & Joseph Field Amanda & Glenn Fuhrman Howard Gittis The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Alexander & Louise Grass Andrew & Mindy Heyer The Honickman Family Marjorie & Lewis Katz Sharon & Joseph Kestenbaum Family Sidney & Caroline Kimmel Geraldine & Bennett LeBow Velda & David Levitsky Samuel P. Foundation Mandell John P. & Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation Jill & Alan Miller National Endowment for the Humanities The Neubauer Family Jane & Daniel Och The William Penn Foundation SPRING 2019


Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Raymond & Ruth Perelman Righteous Persons Foundation Ann B. Ritt Lyn & George Ross Marcia & Ronald Rubin Robert Saligman Charitable Foundation Roberta & Ernest Scheller, Jr. Eric & Erica Schwartz Constance & Joseph Smukler Kadimah Foundation Ed Snider The Tisch Families Frances & Sylvan Tobin Robbi & Bruce Toll Jane, Stuart, Elizabeth, & Rachael Weitzman Constance & Sankey Williams Lisa & Richard Witten Marian & Norman Wolgin Roy J. Zuckerberg Family Foundation Zuritsky / Winigrad Families

1654 Society Members

Elie M. Abemayor and Judy Shandling Nicole and Raanan Agus Tracy and Dennis Albers Anonymous (4) Lezlie and Richard Atlas The Baelen Family Pam and Larry Baer Carol E. Baker and Mark E. Stein Ivy L. Barsky Mr. and Mrs. Saul Berkowitz Bryna and Fred Berman Candace Bernard and Robert J. Glickman Marcella and Stuart Bernstein Eli and Edythe Broad Don and Linda Brodie The Julian A. & Lois G. Brodsky Foundation Jeffrey and Michele Brotman Sandy and Sid Brown Joan Carter and John Aglialoro Irving M. and Nancy Chase Civic Foundation, Inc. D. Walter Cohen z”l and Claire J. Reichlin Louise and Robert Cohen Stephen and Sandy Cozen Curtis Family Foundation, Inc. Phil and Betsy Darivoff


Richard and Rosalee C. Davison Foundation, Inc. Ilana B. Dean Marian and Kenneth Disken Allan Domb Chung Do and Frank Lindy Peter and Silvia Dreyfuss Gloria and Paul Fine Phyllis and Gary Finkelstein Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence M. Fishman Judith R. Forman and Richard N. Weiner Steven and Melanie Glass Gail and Samuel Goldstein Jane and Neil Golub Gwen Goodman Sylvia G. Gordon Terry A. Graboyes Martin J. Gross Andy and Mindy Heyer Andrea Hirschfeld Ms. Carolyn Hirsh and Mr. Alan S. Lindy Jane Barr Horstman and John Horstman The Jacobson Family Foundation The Deanne & Arnold Kaplan Foundation Robert & Marjie Kargman The Eleanor M. and Herbert D. Katz Family Foundation Inc. Ellen and Donald Legow Jonathon and Rachel Levine Leon L. and Fran Levy Elaine Lindy Samuel P. Mandell Foundation Barbara M. and Christopher Matos Anne Welsh McNulty Barbara and David Messer Micklin Family Newton and Jo Minow Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Sharon Ann Musher and Daniel Mark Eisenstadt Robin Chemers Neustein and Shimon Neustein Barbara and Jerry Pearlman Daniel Promislo Susan and Evan Ratner Joanna and Daniel Rose Lyn M. Ross Robin and Steven Rotter Barbara Spiro Ryan and Robert Ryan Robert Saligman Charitable Foundation Evelyn Sandground / Bill Perkins in honor of Frank & Marta Jager Savitz Family Foundation Mimi and Allan Schneirov Bubbles M. Seidenberg

Vivian C. Seltzer Ph.D. and William Seltzer Rayman Solomon and Carol Avins Joan and Bernard Spain Marc and Diane Spilker Carla Stern and Richard C. Goodwin Meredith and Jon Stevens Lynne L. Tarnopol Sharon and Paul Waimberg Connie and Sankey Williams Etta Z. Winigrad Marian and Norman Wolgin Renée and Joseph Zuritsky

Legacy Society Members Our Legacy Society is growing thanks to individuals who have named the Museum their estate plans. Join the dozens who are committed to sustaining the Museum’s future as members of the Legacy Society. For more information, please contact Cobi Weissbach at 215.923.3811 x131 or Valla Amsterdam z”l Reba Bacharach z”l Susanne H. Becker z”l Jean Beloff z”l Alan S. Berg Hope L. Byer D. Walter Cohen z”l Jeanette Cohen z”l Steve & Sandy Cozen Robert L. Davidson Samuel Dubin Minna Dubner z”l Mr. & Mrs. Robert Evans Joanne R. Fishbane Benjamin Garsten z”l Donald & Susan Gold Tevis M. Goldhaft z”l Elaine Golland Alexander Grass z”l Mark W. Hart Hatchwell Family Arthur Hiller z”l & Gwen Hiller z”l Michael Isaacson Evelyn Isserman z”l Bertha Karavin z”l Lewis Katz z”l Edna Kean z”l Philip J. Kendall z”l Howard Kichler Naomi Klein z”l Linda M. Knapp z”l Charitable Trust & Adelene B. Miller z”l Joan Leftin Dorothy A. Levin z”l

Hadassah R. Levin z”l Ruth Libros Mollie Lischin z”l Joseph H. Levine z”l Bernard J. Malis z”l Morris Mashonsky z”l Rosalie Middlemas z”l Mr. & Mrs. Michael Miron Leo Nothmann Marital Trust Ella W. Ostroff z”l Barbara D. Paxton Dr. Irene Reiter z”l Theodore & Lenore Robinson Daniel & Joanna Rose Beatrice B. Rosenkoff z”l Lyn M. Ross & George M. Ross z”l Bertha C. Roth Mimi & Allan Schneirov Miriam Schonwetter Sharp z”l Miriam F. Settel, z”l Nancy Silver Shalit Abraham Z. Shanzer z”l & Norma Shanzer z”l Toni Mendez Shapiro z”l Shirley Shay Ann Shipper Elizabeth & Alan Shulman Joanne L. Snow Ruth Sondak z”l May M. Spirt Charitable Remainder Trust Diana L. Stein z”l Philip Sternberg Barbara Sugarman Etta Weinberg z”l Mildred L. Weinstock z”l Joy L. Wezelman Paul & Nancy Woolf Renée and Joseph Zuritsky


Bernice Abramovich Rosalie Alexander Andrea Allison-Williams Alicia Askenase Barbara Block Jane Brown Phil Bursky Stephen Capin Chana Cohen Judith Cohen Lou Criden Ierachmiel (Yerach) Daskal Lyn Davis Carol Dranoff David Epstein Adele Fine Phyllis Finkelstein Marian Fisher David Forsted Helene Freidman Beth Goldman Laurie Gottlieb Lillian Hassman Natalie Hess

Rochelle Hirsh Joyce Kay Erica King Joyce Krain Beth Latham Andrea Leighton Resa Levinson Elaine Jaffe Linda Markoff Nancy Messinger Fran Miller Barbara Mollin Lerner Naida Mosenkis Frances Novack Meryl Rodgers Charlotte Schwartz Vivian Seltzer Sharon Thaler Nan Wallace Susan Weinberg Rochelle Wolf Paul Woolf Gloria Wuhl


Nona Abrams Gloria Baer Debby Baratz Judy Becker Barbara Block Jeffrey L. Brown Minda Gold Carp Karen Cherwony Amy Chipetz Honey Cohen Louis Criden Nancy Davis Arlene Elfman Barbara Epstein Irene (Renee) Feduniue Marc Feldman Nancy Feldman Judith Finkel, Ph. D Alvin First Patti First Selma Harris Forstater Ronald Friedman Ellen Garber Kenneth Geller Sidell Geller William Gold Alan Gollis Brenda Goodis Estel Goody Penina Gould Diane Hark Beverly Hayden Helene Herman Len Huber Sue Isenberg Robin Kalish Ann Ryan Kaplan Mona Kolsky Lisa Leff Amy Levine Evelyn Levit Harriette Mishkin Barbara Nochumson Becky Nunez

For a donor listing including members at the Supporter Level through $1,999, please visit 22




Lisa Penn Paul Pennock Celeste Rose Ida Rosen Ed Rosenblum Sharon Ross Lily Rothman Robert Sahl Lisa Scholnick Sandra Sham Beverly Siegel-Victor Alice Siet Doris Slutsky Serge Small Phyllis Stern Philip Sternberg Betty Jane Strouss Roland Turk Helen Victor Turk Deborah Vanderveer Ethel Weinberg, M.D. Lenore (Lee) Weinstein Mickie Williams Arline Winkler Harriet Yankowitz


Ivy L. Barsky, CEO and Gwen Goodman Director Eleanor Andersen Marquez Andrews Emily August Kate Beach Karen Coleman Brady Daniller Theresa DeAngelis Jamie Fredrick Michael Fulkerson Shira Goldstein Lauren Gross Beth Heaney Charlie Hersh Alisa Kraut Kristen Kreider Carolynn McCormack Stephein Oaddams Josh Perelman, Ph.D. Claire Pingel Franco Santos Brooke Schostak Olivia Schultz Caroline Seibel Alyssa Stüble Debra Sullivan Stefanie Sutton Rachel Urkowitz Paul Waimberg Ivy Weingram Ellen Weiss Susan Weiss Cobi Weissbach Judith Finkel Ph. D.* Ethel Weinberg M.D.*

*Volunteer Academic Liaisons


Corporate Partners Thank you to these Corporate Partners and supporters from the corporate community who made gifts in Fiscal Year 2018.


—Brotherly Love—

Philip M. Darivoff, Chairperson Lyn M. Ross, Honorary Chairperson Stephen A. Cozen, First Vice Chairperson Andrew R. Heyer, Vice Chairperson Elijah S. Dornstreich, Treasurer Mark Oster, Secretary George Ross z”l, Founding Chairperson Ronald Rubin, Chairperson Emeritus


­— Independence—



The Museum would also like to thank the following individuals for taking leadership roles in the Corporate Partners Program: Alan J. Hoffman NMAJH Corporate Partners Co-Chair Chairman and Managing Partner, Blank Rome, LLP


Board of Trustees

Elijah S. Dornstreich NMAJH Corporate Partners Co-Chair Vice President, Bernstein Private Wealth Management

List as of January 6, 2019

Susanna Lachs Adler Scott Akman Philip Balderston Alec Ellison Phyllis Finkelstein Alan J. Hoffman Thomas O. Katz Sharon Tobin Kestenbaum Andrew Klaber Elaine Lindy Seymour G. Mandell z”l Mitchell L. Morgan Matthew Pestronk Lisa B. Popowich Marc Porter Daniel Promislo Laury Saligman Sherrie R. Savett Miriam Schneirov Brett Schulman Daniel A. Shapiro Michelle Singer Meredith C. Slawe Lindy Snider Shanin Specter Michael Swift Joseph S. Zuritsky Harold Berger* D. Walter Cohen* z”l Gwen Goodman* Raymond Perelman * z”l Ruth Sarner Libros* Samuel J. Savitz*

National Leadership Council Roy Zuckerberg (New York, NY), Chair * Eugene Applebaum, z”l (Detroit, MI) Charles Bronfman (New York, NY) Betsy Z. Cohen (New York, NY) Ambassador Edward Elson (Palm Beach, FL) Milton Fine (Pittsburgh, PA) Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg (Bronx, NY) J. Ira Harris (Palm Beach, FL) Senator Joseph Lieberman (Hartford, CT) Newton Minow (Chicago, IL) Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. (New York, NY) Allan “Bud” Selig (Milwaukee, WI) Albert Small (Washington, DC) Edward Snider z”l (Philadelphia, PA) Stuart Weitzman (Greenwich, CT) Fred Wilpon (New York, NY)

Young Friends Board Jake Markovitz, Chairperson Steven Share, Vice Chairperson Zachary Golen Benjamin Hirsh Ellie Levy Bryan Leib Ali Sayer Alex Weiner Shana Weiner

*Trustee Emeritus



Non Profit Org US Postage PAID Philadelphia, PA Permit No.

101 South Independence Mall East Philadelphia, PA 19106-2517 215.923.3811 •

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Mi Polin Bronze Mezuzah

MUSEUM STORE Since 1976, the Museum Store has offered the best in ceremonial Judaica, Jewish gifts, and jewelry. If you are planning your wedding, view our world-class Ketubah gallery or consider a NMAJH gift registry. The Museum Store offers over 500 Ketubah choices; shop online or visit us in person. Admission is always free for the Museum Store and Ketubah gallery.


Commemorating Jewish life of pre-WWII Poland with mezuzot cast from the door frames of once Jewish homes. $300/$270 Member Price

Sara Berman’s Closet

This whimsical publication by Maira Kalman and Alex Kalman serves as a companion to the special exhibition on view at NMAJH Apr. 5 through Sep. 2, 2019. $25.99/$23.39 Member Price

Building Bridges Menorah

Laura Cowan designed this Hanukkah menorah as a visual representation of the bridging of beliefs and understanding. $295/$265.50 Member Price

Profile for National Museum of American Jewish History

Beacon, Spring 2019  

Beacon is the annual donor and member magazine of the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Beacon, Spring 2019  

Beacon is the annual donor and member magazine of the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Profile for nmajh