Weitzman Jewish history museum CEO is stepping down

Misha Galperin led the Weitzman Museum of American Jewish History through bankruptcy and the pandemic. He will stay until a successor is found.

Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

The OY/YO sculpture by Deborah Kass in front of the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History announces it reopening after 26 months closed. (Peter Crimmins/WHYY)

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The Weitzman Museum of American Jewish History is now searching for a new leader. Its CEO Misha Galperin has announced he will be stepping down.

He led the museum in Old City Philadelphia through a difficult four years.

Galperin first came to the museum as a consultant in 2019, when the previous CEO Ivy Barsky stepped down, to be interim CEO as the financially struggling institution drew up a strategic plan. He led the museum into Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in March 2020, a move that was immediately complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its shutdown.

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As CEO, he led the museum through 18 months of bankruptcy proceedings, from which it emerged two years ago, largely through a $10 million gift from board member Mitchell Morgan. The museum was renamed after another transformational gift by shoe designer Stuart Weitzman.

According to Galperin, the museum raised $66.5 million during his tenure from contributions, grants, and earned revenue.

“The time is right for a new professional leader who will reside in Philadelphia and devote full-time efforts to lead the Weitzman into its next chapter,” said Galperin, who lives in Brooklyn.

Galperin, 65, immigrated from Ukraine in 1976 with his family when he was 18. He said in a statement that he has never seen Jewish hate at the level he is seeing it now, and that “we must do what we can to preserve the sanctity of America as a haven and keep it a safe home for Jewish people and other minorities.”

Galperin will stay on as CEO until the board finds a new leader.

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