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August 6, 2011

happy anniversary to the American Jewish History museum

August 6, 2011
Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the Smithsonian’s partnership with the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia.  When we met, the Museum shared space on Independence Mall with the  Congregation Mikveh Israel (known as the “Synagogue of the American Revolution”), whose members founded the Museum in 1976.   As the only Museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to the American Jewish experience, its 15,000 square feet presented an opportunity to share over 100 exhibitions and the largest collection of Jewish Americana in the world. 

Barry Halkin/Halkin Photography, courtesy of the National Museum of American Jewish History

Today, the Museum has moved a half-block, to a new,  state-of-the-art five-story building facing the Liberty Bell that will be celebrating its first birthday this November.  This location is significant and appropriate.  The Museum documents the 350+ year history of Jews in America, and in so doing, celebrates the freedoms that have made it possible for Jewish Americans – or any other ethnic group – to flourish in this country. 

The Smithsonian has been a proud partner with the Museum during our decade-long relationship.  For example, in 2002 the Institution worked with the Museum during Philadelphia’s ‘Culturefest’ to present Smithsonian curators and scholars on a variety of topics.  In 2005, the Museum hosted an ‘antiques roadshow’ program, designed to help its visitors save their personal collections, with the help of a Smithsonian conservator.

With the opening of the Museum’s new home, our partnership reached new heights.  NMAJH is now displaying artifacts that are among the most rare and valuable in all the Smithsonian’s collections.  Visitors to the Museum can see Albert Einstein’s pipe, Sandy Koufax’s baseball glove, and Irving Berlin’s World War II uniform, among other items of Jewish Americana.  And our plans to share even more objects extend for many years forward.

So, to our friends and colleagues in Philadelphia – mazel tov!  Here’s to our accomplishments and may there be many more to come in the next ten years.

September 24, 2010

affiliates in the news: week of september 20

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

Museum of American Finance (New York, NY)
The Museum of American Finance will unveil the display of an 18-karat solid gold Monopoly set covered with hundreds of precious gemstones, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural HistoryREAD MORE

Museum of American Finance To Display Jeweled Monopoly Set and Host TournamentREAD MORE

Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland, FL)
Polk Museum of Art is pleased to announce that it has been accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliations Program…READ MORE 

Polk Museum Gets Affiliation With SmithsonianREAD MORE

Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences (Peoria, IL)
Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences has been awarded a $10,000 Arts Education Invitational Grants Initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to digitize the Picture Person Program educational kitsREAD MORE

Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, CT)
…The Smithsonian curator who got the ball rolling was Rayna Green, curator and director of the American Indian Program, Division of Home and Community Life, who will present “In Julia’s Kitchen”READ MORE

The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages (Stony Brook, NY)
The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook announced Thursday it has received accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest honor awarded by the national organizationREAD MORE

The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (Richmond, VA)
Richmond visitors have a new starting point for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War and the end of slavery: Historic TredegarREAD MORE

Historic Tredegar: The Region’s Gateway to the Civil WarREAD MORE

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
On November 12th, the National Museum of American Jewish History will reopen in its new location at Independence Mall. The weekend of celebration will feature performances by Jerry Seinfeld and Bette MidlerREAD MORE

Two of the country’s most famous Jewish performers will highlight the opening of one of the most ambitious Jewish museum projects in yearsREAD MORE

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, NC)
Exhibit in North Carolina Shows the Real George WashingtonREAD MORE

National Mississippi River Museum (Dubuque, IA)
Foundation awards river museum $1 million grant for river centerREAD MORE

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Everybody loves a freebie and this Saturday, September 25, marks Smithsonian magazine’s 6th Annual Museum Day, when more than 1,500 museum and cultural venues across the United States will honor Smithsonian.com’s special get-in-free ticket for twoREAD MORE

 

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