Public votes on exhibit at Jewish museum

    The Philadelphia-based National Museum of American Jewish History is letting the public choose which Jews should be included in their new exhibit.

    Who are the most prominent Jews in American history? The man who cured polio? Perhaps the Mother of Women’s Basketball? In an unusual process, the Philadelphia-based National Museum of American Jewish History is letting the public choose which Jews should be included in their new exhibit. The online voting process has a wide variety of candidates.
    Caption: Neil Diamond, Photo Credit: Courtesy: WBPM

    Listen:
    [audio: 090717pcmuseum.mp3]

    The list of 218 Jews in the “Only In America” voting process includes some un-American figures. Like Emma Goldman, who was deported to Russian in 1919 when J. Edgar Hoover called her the most dangerous anarchist in the country.

    But museum president Micahel Rosenzweig says the list does NOT include the man who wrote the famous patriotic lyric, “They’re coming to America…today.”

    Rosenzweig: Neil Diamond was not on the list. But Neil Diamond’s fan club took offense and has mounted a very vigorous write-in campaign and we’ve gotten a lot of votes for Neil Diamond.

    Rosenzweig says the museum is soliciting public input, but not handing curatorial control to the masses. He says the voting results will become a barometer for museum staff. The 135 million dollar museum currently under construction in center city is scheduled to open in 2010.

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