Join our family of friends of Beit Hatfutsot.
Contributions to the American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot are tax deductible to the extent of the law.

Beit Hatfutsot of America

American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

About Beit Hatfutsot of America and the American Friends 

Beit Hatfutsot of America is the programmatic and institution-building arm of Beit Hatfutsot in North America. It is the conveyor of the vision and mission of The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, the transmitter of the content produced by Beit Hatfutsot, the vessel to bring to North America Beit Hatfutsot’s program offerings and exhibits; developing leadership for the enterprise; establishing strategic relations with compatible institutions and organizations such as museums, JCCs, synagogues, federations, Jewish learning centers, Israeli representatives, etc. American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot (AFBH), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization representing the interests of Beit Hatfutsot, as a resource development vehicle. It provides support to the ongoing and prospective programs and exhibits of Beit Hatfutsot.

 

Contact us:


Shulamith Bahat, CEO, Beit Hatfutsot of America:

[email protected]

Gloria Golan, Executive Director, American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot:

[email protected]

 

Recent Events

 

December 2, 2019 Annual AFBH Gala in New York City:


READ FULL DETAILS ABOUT THE NYC GALA

November 17 -19, 2019

American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot was a sponsor of the  33rd Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Dr. Ruth Shamir Popkin, Member of the Board of the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot and Vice President of the American Friends

introduced Beit Hatfutsot to the audience and presented the short moving film YOU ARE PART OF THE STORY prior to the screening of the documentary GOLDA.

Steven Geiger, founder of the International Mensch Foundation, presided over a Q & A on the film following the film which was an intimate talk with Golda Meir, whose five years as Prime Minister secured her place in Israel’s history.

 

October, 2019

Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann

October 17, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann

The National World War II Museum

US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center and Hall of Democracy Special Exhibition Gallery

945 Magazine Street

New Orleans, Louisiana

***

October 28, 2019

“Am Israel Chai”

Lecture featuring Ambassador Alfred H. Moses, Co-Chair, Beit Hatfutsot

International Board of Governors

Kol Ami Synagogue, Tampa Florida

Beit Hatfutsot and the Hampton Synagogue, Westhampton, New York, Saturday, September 7

The Hamptons Premiere Screening of Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal

The second annual Beit Hatfutsot summer event at the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton, New York, took place after Shabbat on Saturday evening, September 7th with the premiere of the documentary “Chewdaism—A Taste of Jewish Montreal.” Produced by and starring the comedy duo of Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman, better known as Yidlife Crisis, the film cleverly depicts the history and diversity of the Jewish Community of Montreal through food.

Over 150 attended the screening. Shula Bahat, CEO of Beit Hatfutsot of America, introduced the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot following a screening of the poignant video produced by the Museum entitled YOU ARE PART OF THE STORY. She connected the theme of the film “Chewdaism” to the new Museum and the food display which will be featured at the Culture, Identity and Folklore Wing and concluded by inviting the entire audience to join the American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot on December 2nd for its annual Gala in New York City, where renowned Cookbook Author and Journalist Joan Nathan will be honored.

The film concluded with a spirited discussion with YidLife Crisis and culminated in a  lively dessert reception.

Jerry and Carol Levin, Stu and Sandy Kahn, Virginia Bayer Slifka Hirt and Rabbi Robert Hirt, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld and Gloria Kaylie, who sponsored the event, were among the guests.

 

Scattered Breath: The Red Thread
A Visual Family Narrative

Jennifer Kopping

The Dr. Bernard Heller Museum
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Beit Hatfutsot of America co-sponsored an extraordinary exhibition by contemporary artist Jennifer Kopping, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, which explores the Jewish diasporic narrative of two branches of her family separated by the devastation of the Holocaust. Beginning in the small villages of Poland, now Belarus, she traces their journeys and scattered fate that brought them to two corners of the globe: South Africa and the United States.

Her powerful panoramic installation unites two sides of the family and is a visual and mythical feast of diaspora and hybrid hauntings of place and time. The narrative is depicted through images inspired by family archival photographs with mixed media using collage, oil painting, embroidery, and paper cut-outs.

Jean Rosensaft, Director of the Heller Museum, welcomed the opening reception’s guests and introduced Jennifer Kopping, who spoke about the inspiration for her art and its importance as a diasporic narrative tapestry of imagery that is a celebration of life, adaptation, and survival.

Shula Bahat, CEO of Beit Hatfutsot of America, addressed the audience and described how profoundly Jennifer Kopping’s visual narrative contributes to Beit Hatfutsot’s mission of documenting the stories of individual Jews and of Jewish life around the world.

She thanked Hebrew Union College for inviting Beit Hatfutsot to co-sponsor this significant and meaningful exhibition.

This installation will be expanded and exhibited at the Holocaust Museum in Johannesburg next July.

Shula Bahat, Jean Rosensaft and Jennifer Kopping

Shula Bahat, Jean Rosensaft and Jennifer Kopping

***

Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann

Houston Holocaust Museum

June – September 2019

***

Bucharest Diary: Romania’s Journey from Darkness to Light

A Conversation Featuring Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and Ambassador Alfred H. Moses

The Center for Jewish History, New York

May 20, 2019

The sold-out event, was initiated by Beit Hatfutsot of America and was sponsored by the Center for Jewish History, the American Jewish Historical Society and Yeshiva University.

Bernard Michael, CEO/President of the Center for Jewish History opened the program and spoke briefly about the Center and its rich archives including AJHS’s Benjamin Peixotto. Peixotto was the consul general to Romania appointed by President Grant in 1870.

Shula Bahat, CEO of Beit Hatfutsot of America welcomed the guests and thanked the partners for helping to make the evening such a success stressing that these august institutions share a vision about the Jewish people which respects diversity and emphasizes unity and not uniformity. In introducing Senator Lieberman and Ambassador Moses, she thanked the two exceptional global, American and Jewish leaders who weave aspects of their identity with pride and with unconditional love, for the Jewish enterprise, Am Israel and to Eretz Israel.  She highlighted the role that each of them holds at Beit Hatfutsot, namely, Senator Lieberman as the Honorary Chair of our Board of Governors and Ambassador Moses as the co-chair of its International Board of Governors

Senator Lieberman asked important and thought-provoking questions which were poignantly addressed by Ambassador Moses. A life-long association between the two was evident from the conversation and its tone. Senator Lieberman felt that Ambassador Moses’ book was told three stories in one: The story of getting the Jews out of Romania during the time of Ceausescu and allowing them to emigrate to Israel; the post-communist period in Romania and Romania’s new leadership and goals during Moses’ Ambassadorship to the country; and finally Ambassador Moses’ take aways from the positive and negative of his experiences.

Ambassador Moses shared colorful stories that are contained in his book and memories of his first visit to Romania.  He painted a bleak picture of the country in the 1970’s. He recalled being approached on the street by young Jews desperate to emigrate from Communist Romania to Israel. As an American and a Jew, helping them became his mission. He spoke of his face to face meetings with Ceausescu and the intricate dealings involved in establishing the right of Jews to freely emigrate.

He spoke about his conversations with Moshe Rosen, then the Chief Rabbi of Romania, and traveling the country meeting with the Jewish population. He also spoke candidly about the role he played in helping Romania transition from a Communist past to democracy from darkness to light and the importance of their becoming a MFN and member in NATO. The diplomacy of the time was so sensitive given the circumstances and yet he was privileged to be part of this significant period.

Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University, moderated the Q&A following the conversation between Ambassador Moses and Senator Lieberman. He reiterated that the impact that Ambassador Moses played on foreign policy and on the course of history was no small feat.

Among the guests were: Pierre De Saint Phalle; Michal Divon; Catherine and Joshua Goestschel; Ruth Gottesman; Robert and Trudy Gottesman; David Hochberg; Gerry Hodes; Sidney and Ruth Lapidus; Joshua Landes; Ken Makovsky; Mark Meyers, Honorary Consulate for Moldava; Morris Offit; Richard O’Leary; Robert Rifkind; Nina Rifkind; George and Pamela Rohr; Sofia and Mike Segal; Robert Elman; Haina Just Michael among many others.

Guests were then invited to a reception where Ambassador Moses signed books for the guests.

Haifa: Two Tales of a City

New York City

April 9, 2019

Amidst the Carmel Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea sits Haifa, Israel’s third largest city whose brilliant architecture and culture of innovation and coexistence has been celebrated in film, song, and fine art. Haifa has been hailed by author A. B. Yehoshua as a symbol of all that is normal Israel.

A distinguished audience of 100 gathered at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue for an intimate evening with authors Naomi Harris Rosenblatt and Professor Nili Gold for a revealing and fascinating look at the evolving relations of the people and landscape of Haifa, and memories of historical events that shaped their identities. Guests included Phil Darivoff, Board Chair, National Museum of American Jewish History; Amerian Abby Joseph Cohen, Senior Investment Strategist, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc, Research Division; Ambassador Peter Rosenblatt, a prominent Washington attorney, Daniel Rosenblatt, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, Senior Rabbi of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, and Arthur Stein, Co-chair of the Israel Committee of SWFS, among others.

Shula Bahat, CEO of Beit Hatfutsot of America, a trustee of SWFS, and a native of Haifa herself moderated the evening.  The discussion focused on themes such as the characteristics of the city that reinforce Israeli and Jewish identity; the essence of the education that both authors received at home and in school that kept them connected to the city; maintaining their identity as Sabras and American Jews and cultivating multi-identities and the issue of dual loyalty to the US and Israel that has re-emerged as a subject of public discourse.

At the end of the evening guests received copies of Rosenbatt’s Bless the Bitter and Sweet, her diary recording personal impressions about the end of the Mandate and the beginning of Israel and Gold’s Haifa: City of Steps, her homage to her hometown and a hybrid work of urban studies, architecture, literature and memory.

Nili Gold, Shula Bahat, Naomi Rosenblatt

Nili Gold, Shula Bahat, Naomi Rosenblatt

Phil Darivoff, Shula Bahat, Abby Joseph Cohen

Phil Darivoff, Shula Bahat, Abby Joseph Cohen

 

NEW YORK HEBREW Celebrates MY FAMILY STORY

March 28, 2019 at The Center for Jewish History, New York

Students with Gloria Golan, Executive Director of American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot, Gillie Shanowitz, Ilana Benson of Yeshiva University Museum, Rabbi Mendy Shanowitz and Guest Speaker, Dr. Jacob Wisse

Students with Gloria Golan, Executive Director of American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot, Gillie Shanowitz, Ilana Benson of Yeshiva University Museum, Rabbi Mendy Shanowitz and Guest Speaker, Dr. Jacob Wisse

Students and their families gathered at the Center for Jewish History on March 28, 2019 to celebrate the culmination of a school year of study and present their creative projects in connection with Beit Hatfutsot’s educational and experiential program MY FAMILY STORY. This marks the third year that New York Hebrew has partnered with Beit Hatfutsot of America to implement the forward-thinking program created by the KORET International School for Jewish Peoplehood at Beit Hatfutsot. Over 150 Jewish learning centers and 20,000 students and their families participate in the program worldwide.

Grateful thanks are extended to Gillie Shanowitz, Mussie Mangel and Rabbi Mendy Shanowitz of Chabad’s New York Hebrew, for their ongoing commitment to the program and the passion they instill in their students. Kudos to the students and their families for their dedication to the project and the submission of outstanding works which reflect their journey of discovery of their roots, a journey that has strengthened their Jewish identity and identification with the Jewish people.

Dr. Jacob Wisse, Director of Yeshiva University Museum, was the guest speaker.  He told his own family’s journey and accompanied the students and their families through a tour of the unique exhibition, “LOST AND FOUND: A Family Photo Album.” It was a most moving exhibition and a fitting complement to the student’s works which reflected their own family’s stories.

We congratulate Sara Flax, Ella Mosca and Lily Gottfried, whose works were submitted to the Manuel Hirsh Grosskopf International competition associated with the program.  We commend Sara Flax whose project was chosen for this year’s My Family Story Exhibition which will be on display at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv from the middle of June to the end of July.

Every participant in the program is a winner as various learning centers which implement My Family Story curate an exhibition of the art work of the students.  Most importantly, according to an Emory University study led by Professor Marshall Duke, knowing one’s family story is a key to a positive identity formation. Bruce Feiler, a New York Times Journalist indicated in his book The Happy Family that most valuable, yet free, gift parents can give to their children is to share with them the family narrative.

Sara Flax "The Bigger Picture"

Sara Flax, “The Bigger Picture”

 

Ella Mosca, "They Came By Plane"

Ella Mosca, “They Came By Plane”

Lily Gotfried, "Pogroms to Pilgrimage"

Lily Gotfried, “Pogroms to Pilgrimage”

 

About the Projects

 

Looking Back at 2018 and Looking Forward: 

  • Exhibitions

  • Educational Programs

  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Programs and Events

The American Friends:


Sam E. Bloch Z”L, Founding  Chairman

Daniel Pincus, President

Ruth Shamir Popkin, Vice President

Stephen M. Greenberg*, Treasurer

Elissa Blaser, Secretary

Gisele Ben Dor

David Ellman

 

 

Tanaz Eshaghian

Dr. Aaron Feingold*

Dr. Cheryl Fishbein*

Milton and Tamar Maltz

Ambassador Alfred H. Moses

Carlyn Ring

Sofia Segal

Nina Weiner

 

Shula Bahat, CEO, Beit Hatfutsot of America

Gloria Golan, Executive Director, American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

* Past President