As the National Museum of American Jewish History approaches its one-year anniversary, and in the reflective spirit of this High Holiday season, I want to share some of the past year’s achievements for which we are most grateful:
- Our state-of-the-art core exhibition has received significant critical and popular acclaim, including rave reviews in The New York Times and other national publications. In addition, the American Association of Museums awarded a bronze medal to our Dreams of Freedom multimedia installation, observing: “This submission stood out by achieving great impact using modest means that were superbly suited to the subject matter. The blending of form and content showed exceptional creativity and restraint. An elegant and novel way to engage the audience. Technology supports the presentation without overwhelming it or becoming the focus.”
- Through lectures, panel discussions, films, performances and participatory activities, widely diverse audiences enjoyed more than 50 public programs and special events that explored a broad range of subjects addressing the American Jewish experience, from Jews in the Civil War to cutting-edge issues of contemporary Jewish life.
- Since opening, the Museum has welcomed more than 550 groups, with an additional 250 currently booked. These include public and private schools (125 school groups, over 5,000 students), university classes, civic groups, church study groups and a wide variety of Jewish organizations.
- After exceeding the lofty goal of $150 million for our Capital Campaign, our donors continue to be incredibly generous. Our wildly successful membership campaign boasts more than 19,000 members from all 50 states.
- The Museum, with its stunning view of Independence Mall, has been the venue of choice for 60 parties and other celebrations, corporate events and meetings, with 50 more already booked.
- Our brilliantly curated Museum Store has sold unique high-end Judaica to tens of thousands of shoppers, significantly exceeding revenue projections.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to visit the Museum, I encourage you to do so during the coming year. You will see for yourself why we have so quickly and resoundingly been embraced as a national destination museum of distinction and excellence.
In the weeks and months ahead, my colleagues and I look forward to keeping you informed of more exciting developments in this space. In the meantime, we all wish you a peaceful, happy and healthy New Year.
-- Contributed by Michael Rosenzweig
Museum President and CEO