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The leadership and staff of the National Museum of American Jewish History join me in mourning the loss of Senator Frank Lautenberg, who passed away on Monday at the age of 89. The first generation American, WWII veteran, and five-term New Jersey senator was a tireless champion for many of the values we treasure at the Museum—freedom, equality, hard work, leadership, service, imagination, and tradition. His leadership was critical to passing the 1990 law providing refugee status to people from historically persecuted groups and opening our doors to those who experienced religious persecution in their native lands, including an estimated 350-400,000 Soviet Jews. His legacy will live on in the hundreds of thousands whose lives he has positively impacted. We remember him fondly with a video that he recorded in our It’s Your Story booth in 2010. May his memory be a blessing.
-Ivy Barsky, CEO and Gwen Goodman Director