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Jewish Museum Names New Director

April 13, 2011 By:
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Ivy L. Barsky

The new National Museum of American Jewish History will soon have a new director.

Ivy L. Barsky, deputy director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York, will become director and chief operating officer on July 1.

Her responsibilities will include "oversight of museum operations, including collections, exhibits, education, programs and visitor services," according to Michael Rosenzweig, president/CEO of the museum.

In making the announcement of the position -- officially titled the Gwen Goodman Museum Director -- Rosenzweig noted the need for a director with museum experience, given that "my own background is not in museums," said the lawyer.

"For the past two years, I was very fortunate to be able to work with my predecessor," he said of Goodman, "who stayed on as executive director emerita and who, of course, has had many years of museum experience."

But with Goodman's retirement shortly after the museum opened last fall, Rosenzweig said that he needed to find someone who could complement his work, and free him to "lead the museum's fundraising efforts and our national outreach."

Barsky founded the New York museum's education department and helped form its core exhibit. In 2005, she earned the New York City Museum Educators Roundtable Award for Excellence in Museum Education.

She is also an adjunct professor in museum studies at New York University.

Her goal, she said, is "to explore with visitors of all ages and backgrounds the blessings and challenges that come with living as a free people in a democracy, and the rich and diverse history of American Jewry."

Museum co-chairs George M. Ross and Ronald Rubin cited her "depth of experience and passion for her work" as salient qualifications for her new job at the museum overlooking Independence Hall.

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