Einstein, Meir and Koufax Picked for American Jewish ‘Hall of Fame, Kissinger and The Three Stooges Don’t Make the Cut


jewish-museumAfter receiving more than 209,000 votes from around the world, 18 men and women have been chosen for the new National Museum of American Jewish History’s Hall of Fame. The museum, slated to open in November 2010 in Philadelphia, had listed 218 finalists on its Web site for its “Only in America” gallery, featuring artists, athletes, scientists, civic and religious leaders.┬áBased on the poll results and input from historians, the winners ranged from celebrities to – distrubingly – the founders of the Reconstructionist and Reform movements.

Officials will not release how many votes each finalist had received, to avoid turning an educational exhibit into “a popularity contest,” explained Josh Perelman, deputy director for programming and museum historian.

“They have all made monumental marks on America, American culture and American Jewish life,” he added. “Jews have had 350 years of experience in this country, and what unifies these people is that they were able to take the opportunities afforded to them in America, through the freedoms we all have, to excel in their fields.”

Other honorees will include musicians Irving Berlin and Leonard Bernstein; Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis; physicist Albert Einstein; baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax; cosmetics entrepreneur and philanthropist Estee Lauder; activist poet Emma Lazarus; Rabbi Isaac Leeser; Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir; polio vaccine inventor Jonas Salk; labor leader Rose Schneiderman; Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer; and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

The number 18 was chosen for its religious significance, beign the gematriah of chai. Over time, the Hall of Fame will become a rotating gallery, featuring additional American Jews who have made major achievements.

Finalists who didn’t make the initial cut included Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and The Three Stooges.

Voters can continue submitting names to the museum at www.nmajh.org.

{Beliefnet.com/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Anyone you know voted? were they part of the 209,000 participants?
    I find that us Torah Jews complain at the results YET forget to play the game (vote).

  2. Why is it disturbing that the electees include reform and constructionist? Other than the Rebbe zatzal and Bashevis Singer, were any of them shomrei mitzvos? So who cares?

    Complaining about this is typical golus america goyish mentality. Where in Torah literature do we find the heilige concept of a Hall of Fame that we need to be a part of?

  3. what gave you the impression singer was frum? he was most certainly not. just another yiddishist ‘culturekampf’ mechalel shabbos(who was raised frum)

  4. zalman, it is assur to give kovod to reshoim or mechalelei shabbos befarhesya, or ovdei avodah zara, or founders of the reform movement who destroyed generations of jews and are rotting for all eternity in the pits of levels that can only dream of seeing gehinnom

    it is an issur gamur to give such people kovod, brought in the poskim(it became very applicable when the question arose of giving aliyos to intermarrieds, or non-frum people in general – reb moshe has teshuvas on it)

    we do care. there are issurim and chillul hashem involved – the masses will believe that judaism and the jews are represented by culture icons who are machshil the rabim with immorality and avodah zara, who are irreligious and even anti-religious, and by political figures and so on – these people represent the very lowest nebech rungs of our people, and we should certainly endeavor to have someone like the lubavticher rebbe(perhaps the only frum person these people have heard of) up top on the list, and we should also try to get reb moshe, reb ahron, rabbi yaakov yosef(first chief rabbi of new york, quite a famous story), the satmar rov, rav avigdor miller, or any other american-born gadol who even frei people knew about.(nto leafukei other gedolim, chas veshalom, i am simply talking about those whom frei people knew about)