The museum's website invites the public to help decide which 18 past and present Jewish Americans should be recognized in a major museum exhibition
To be called the "Only in America" gallery, the permanent, ground-floor exhibition will serve as a Jewish American hall of fame.Go to the site and vote. The results will be interesting.
From now until Aug. 9, visitors to the Web site can nominate candidates for inclusion or choose (and learn) from a list of 218 Jewish Americans prepared by the museum's historians.
Divided into nine categories, the lineup ranges from the recondite (Nobel laureate and physicist Richard Feynman and cultural critic Susan Sontag) to the ridiculous (the Three Stooges); from high art (painter Mark Rothko, composer Aaron Copland) to pop (Barbra Streisand, the Warner brothers, Steven Spielberg); from the obvious (Einstein) to the obscure.
Ever hear of Judah Benjamin? During the Civil War, he was the Confederacy's secretary of both war and state.
"The story we're telling is what a particular group can achieve when given the blessings of freedom," said Michael Rosenzweig, the museum's president and CEO.
The museum is set to open in 2010.