Can the Jewish Museum Be Saved?

It’s one thing to hold a jazz night in order to draw people into a synagogue building. It’s quite another to show them why the synagogue exists and how it serves its purpose in existing.

Visitors at an art exhibit inspired by the life and work of Leonard Cohen at the Jewish Museum in New York on April 9, 2019. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images.

Visitors at an art exhibit inspired by the life and work of Leonard Cohen at the Jewish Museum in New York on April 9, 2019. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images.

Last Word
May 28 2019
About the author

Menachem Wecker, a freelance journalist based in Washington DC, covers art, culture, religion, and education for a variety of publications.


I’m very grateful to Tom Freudenheim, Edward Rothstein, and Richard McBee for their responses to my essay on the doleful condition of New York’s Jewish Museum. It’s wonderful to have the thoughts of a former museum director, a critic, and a painter, all three of whom have long been wrestling with some or all of the issues I dealt with. It’s all the more gratifying that, for the most part, their peer review of my essay finds me in the right.

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