Exploration Underway to Make Weitzman a Part of the Smithsonian

The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History. (Photo by Jeff Goldberg/Esto for Ennead Architects)

A bipartisan coalition in Congress is leading an effort to make the Weitzman National Museum of American History the 22nd Smithsonian museum.

The “Commission to Study the Potential Transfer of the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History to the Smithsonian Institution Act,” will create a nine-person commission of inquiry to study the feasibility of transferring the Weitzman to the Smithsonian Institution, the Weitzman said in a press release.

The act was introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25) and co-led by Reps. Mike Turner (OH-10), Brendan Boyle (PA-02) and Max Miller (OH-07), and led in the Senate by Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) with co-sponsors Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Fetterman (D-PA) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

Leading Jewish organizations including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Federations of North America, have endorsed the legislation.

The Weitzman was established in 1976 “as the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to exploring and interpreting the American Jewish experience.” It is a private nonprofit maintained primarily through charitable support. The museum has been in its current home on Independence Mall since 2010.

“The Weitzman’s trustees stand ready to transfer the institution to the American people as an official museum of the Smithsonian Institution, with minimal cost to our citizens, and standing proudly in Philadelphia, steps from where our nation was founded,” said Philip M. Darivoff, the Weitzman’s chair emeritus.



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