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Seinfeld, Midler to Headline Jewish Museum Opening
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NEW YORK (JTA) -- Jerry Seinfeld will emcee and Bette Midler will headline the official unveiling of the renovated National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

The Nov. 13 gala will celebrate the $150 million project to move the museum to Philadelphia's Independence Mall and to expand the museum from about 10,000 square feet to more than 100,000.

The museum, which traces the history of American Jews from the 1654 arrival of 20 Jews from Brazil in New Amsterdam until today, will aim to attract some 250,000 visitors per year -- 10 times what it has traditionally attracted since it opened in the mid-1970s.

“The opening is a celebration of an institution that is focused most of all on connecting American Jews more closely with their heritage, and inspiring in all Americans a greater diversity of the American experience and the contribution they have made to this country,” the museum’s president and CEO, Michael Rosenzweig, told JTA. “It was important for us to keep these purposes front of mind. And these two individuals [Seinfeld and Midler] are highly successful and both very proud of their Jewish heritage.

The museum, which received a lead $25 million gift from Jones Apparel owner Sidney Kimmel, has attracted some of the biggest names in Jewish philanthropy, among them Stephen Spielberg, the Tisch and Millstein families, Raymond and Ruth Perelman and Howard Millstein.

Ticket prices for the gala have not yet been announced, but proceeds will go toward the museum’s operating budget. Having Midler and Seinfeld, who are both being paid to perform, will likely give the event a boost, Rosenzweig said.

“They were at the very top of our list. There were other individuals we were interested in, but they were both our first choices,” he said. “We hit a home run in all respects.”

Last Update:

09/29/2010 - 13:48
Bette Midler, Jerry Seinfeld, National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia
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Seinfeld & Midler? And they are being paid? The one refused to acknowledge that his TV character (let alone his real self) was Jewish throughout its run. The other made here career portraying a schmutzkeit slut with a concededly great voice. these are the heroes - the role models for the rest of us? and they won't even do the opening for free? Now there's some serious Tzedaka! You just can't make this stuff up!
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I think we has a people would be a lot better off with more help for Jewish day schools and temple hebrew schools and a few less museums

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