Anchoring the southernmost tip of Manhattan, the Museum of Jewish Heritage completes the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Across the water, Lady Liberty lifts her lamp and Ellis Island marks the gateway through which millions flowed into this country seeking refuge. The Museum’s meaningful location inspires its mission.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage is a public, American institution with strong Jewish roots. Its six-sided shape and six-tiered, louvered roof rising 85 feet in the air are reminders of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. They are also reminiscent of the six-pointed Star of David, symbolizing the Museum’s commitment to representing Jewish life and culture as it has endured and evolved.
To the north of the Museum, the buildings of the new World Trade Center gleam—reminders, etched into the New York City skyline, of a collective responsibility to remember and renew.
Twenty Years of Remembrance & Education
For International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Museum presents its largest public program ever—a community reading of Night by Elie Wiesel. People from around the world watch the livestream, making it a truly international remembrance.
Michael S. Glickman is appointed President & CEO. The Museum launches the Real Estate and Allied Trades Division with an inaugural luncheon honoring Larry Silverstein and his family. The new Prins Fellowship for emigrating scholars, artists, museum professionals, and researchers is also announced. The Museum establishes its new Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism.
Bruce C. Ratner becomes Chairman of the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Robert M. Morgenthau becomes Chairman Emeritus.
Hurricane Sandy hits and the Museum is closed for a week to recover. Though the Museum is located on the edge of New York Harbor, the building, collections, and exhibitions come through the storm unscathed.
Overlooking New York Harbor, the Pickman Keeping History Center and Voices of Liberty—an interactive, digital visitor experience—open to the public.
The Museum’s original exhibition Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust is honored by the American Association of Museums in their Excellence in Exhibition Competition.
The Museum’s original exhibition Ours to Fight For: American Jews in the Second World War is named the Grand Prize Winner in the Excellence in Exhibition Competition by the American Association of Museums.
The Robert M. Morgenthau Wing opens. It is an 82,000-square-foot addition and includes Garden of Stones by internationally acclaimed artist Andy Goldsworthy.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, the Museum family mourns along the rest of New York City and the Museum closes its doors for three weeks. Construction of the East Wing resumes on November 27 and is the first construction to begin south of Ground Zero after 9/11.
Ceremonial groundbreaking of the East Wing (later named the Robert M. Morgenthau Wing), a major Museum expansion. Dr. David G. Marwell is appointed Director of the Museum.
On September 11, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is dedicated by dignitaries and Holocaust survivors including Elie Wiesel. The Museum opens to the public on September 15. The cost of the building construction and Core exhibition totals $21.5 million.
Groundbreaking of the Museum building designed by Kevin Roche is held on October 16.
Professional staff is hired, and the collecting of artifacts, photographs, and survivor and eyewitness video testimony begins.
Lease signing and dedication ceremony is held in Battery Park City. Mission statement is adopted, and Dr. David Altshuler is appointed Director of the Museum. The Commission is reconstituted as the New York Holocaust Memorial Commission, with Governor Mario M. Cuomo and Mayor Edward I. Koch as Founding Chairmen. Robert M. Morgenthau, George Klein, Manfred Ohrenstein, and Peter Cohen serve as Co-Chairmen (to be joined by Howard J. Rubenstein in 1993).
Battery Park City Authority proposes that the Museum be built at the southern tip of Battery Park City.
The New York City Holocaust Memorial Commission is established, with Mayor Koch as Founding Chairman, George Klein and Robert M. Morgenthau as Co-Chairmen, and Senator Jacob K. Javits and Elie Wiesel as Honorary Chairmen.
Mayor Edward I. Koch appoints a Task Force on the Holocaust with George Klein as Chairman. The Task Force prepares a report recommending building a museum and memorial in New York City.