The National Museum of American Jewish History, located on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, is an American history museum that tells the story of the United States through the American Jewish experience. This show, the first of a two-part episode, focuses on the Museum's mission and founding. The second part focuses on the Museum's educational activities, its architecture, exhibits, and artifacts. Ivy L. Barsky, Gwen Goodman Director and CEO of the National Museum of American Jewish History, observes that the Museum shows that any hyphenated American group can share the Jewish-American story, both its struggles and opportunities. Museum benefactor Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectator, speaks of helping to spearhead the growth of the NMAJH and recounts his role in the creation of the Museum's "Only in America: Hall of Fame," an exhibit that highlights the accomplishments of iconic Jewish-Americans, among them Sandy Koufax, Irving Berlin, and Barbra Streisand. Philip M. Darivoff, co-chairman of the Museum, notes that the Museum explains how Judaism has evolved in the United States. Darivoff cites a favorite quote from George Washington's 1790 letter to the Newport, Rhode Island Jewish community, which declares that the United States "gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance." This episode is richly illustrated with footage of the interior of the museum and its exhibits, along with striking views of the exterior of the museum and surrounding Philadelphia landmarks, among them Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
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Episode #208 / Length: 26 minutes