Article: Gail Asper: The story behind the most ambitious Jewish museum (The Canadian Jewish News, 06/27/18)
The European Friends of WJM met in the offices of the Mayor of Tel Aviv to express their support for what will become the new symbol of Israel and the Jewish People. From left to right: Yoram Cohen, David Wollach, Joelle Aflalo, Mayor Ron Huldai, Martine Dassault, Hila Oren, Robert Cohen Skalli, Yaron Klein, Moe Levy.
Our goal for 2018 is to fundraise, fundraise and fundraise! We are asking our donors and prospects for assistance in achieving our goal. Time is of the essence as we have some strict deadlines to adhere to and we are confident that with your help, we will make this dream a reality! How can we not build this great, new project, designed by Frank Gehry for the Jewish people? All donors are being asked to provide pledges which can be spread over 3 – 5 years, and which are completely conditional on the project proceeding as envisioned. Please do share with us the names of prospective donors and be sure to make your pledge today. A pledge form is included here, please encourage your family, friends and colleagues to make their pledge today.
We have just secured an additional $20 million dollar pledge from an anonymous donor. The donor has made this significant pledge because he loves the concept, the location, the content and “the truly beautiful and radical architectural design.” He shares our view that Tel Aviv is the right location for this kind of initiative. He also told Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai that he is excited to do something bold and transformational in Israel and the world and the WJM is the best thing he has seen!
Yoram Cohen joined The World’s Jewish Museum as the Head of Global Fundraising and Strategy in March 2018. Prior to joining WJM, Yoram had been the development manager of the international news channel i24 news, as well as the Executive Director of The Patrick and Lena Drahi Philanthropic Foundation.
From 1996 to 2013, he was Associate Vice President for Europe at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was responsible for development activities in Europe, as well as restructuring of the University’s philanthropic activities, through The Friends of Europe associations.
Between 1985 – 1996, he held several senior management and fundraising roles with several significant organizations, including the Bronfman Foundation and the Rich Corporation.
He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in International Relations (BA), an MBA specializing in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, which was followed by a 2 year program in the field of Education and Contemporary Jewish World (MA studies). He was also educated in philanthropic studies at Brandeis University, Harvard University and John Hopkins University.
From 1979 to 1983 Yoram served as an officer at the rank of captain in the Israeli Parachute Corps and Artillery Corps. Please join us in welcoming Yoram.
We are pleased to announce that Rivka Carmi, President of Ben Gurion University has joined our Advisory Council!
President Carmi is the first woman to serve as President of an Israeli University. She was born in Israel and is a graduate of Hadassah Medical School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She completed a residency in pediatrics, a fellowship in neonatology at the Soroka University Medical Center and an additional two year fellowship in medical genetics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University Medical School. In addition to her duties as President, Professor Carmi remains a member and serves as a consultant of national, professional and public committees and organizations, is a scientific reviewer for various journals and funding agencies and serves on the editorial board of prestigious scientific journals.
Recent noteworthy honors she has received include: the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Yated organization for children with Downs Syndrome; the Achievement in Medicine Award by the Municipality of Beer-Sheva; the 2002 Award for Peace from Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO), to Distinction Award of the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America; and in 2009, an award of excellence from the Israel Ambulatory Pediatric Association (IAPA). In 2013 she received an honorary doctorate from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Asper Foundation created the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) which opened in 2014 and has won over 40 international awards and now adds another significant accolade. We have just learned that the Bank of Canada will feature the CMHR along with civil rights activist Viola Desmond on the new $10 bill.
We are delighted to announce that WJM Advisory Council member Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has just been inducted into the Manhattan Jewish Hall of Fame on May 14, 2018. Other inductees included Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Kol HaKavod Rabbi Telushkin! As well, Advisory Council member Patty Glaser received the Business Operator of the Year Award by the Los Angeles Business Journal on March 21, 2018. Major donor and wonderful ambassador of the WJM, John Farahi received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Nevada on May 17, 2018. We are blessed to have such an esteemed group of advisors and donors believing whole heartedly in the vision of the World’s Jewish Museum. If we have omitted any recent accolades for other team members, please let us know!
NEW YORK CITY
On December 5th, 2017, Gail and Moe hosted an informal gathering of volunteers and donors for an exclusive update on the spectacular architecture and exhibit plans for the WJM. The event took place at Ralph Appelbaum’s incredible offices, where he has developed the exhibits for some of the world’s leading museums!
December 2017 – Shauna Shapiro Jackson, our LA volunteer extraordinaire, hosted a few potential donors at Frank Gehry’s offices. In attendance were some of the LA team including Sheryl Fleischer, Rachelle Fleischer, Adam Press and Rachelle Berger. Also in attendance were Nikita Khan, David Dubinsky from CAA and David Lonner, an accomplished agent representing writers, directors and producers in the film, television and online content arenas.
January 2018 – Gail Asper hosted a few potential donors at Frank Gehry’s offices. Everyone is quite excited about the project and they are thrilled with the model that Frank has created.
On March 15th, 2018, Gail and Moe hosted a reception for WJM volunteers and donors at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv to update everyone on the progress and achievements of the WJM and to introduce our Israel team; Yoram Cohen and Shai Abramson. Shai is the Israeli representative for The Asper Foundation’s projects and initiatives in Israel. Hila Oren, the Chief Executive Officer of the Tel Aviv Foundation spoke eloquently and enthusiastically about the importance of the WJM for the City of Tel Aviv.
Gail and Moe continue to travel the globe to meet with wonderful philanthropists who are assisting in making the World’s Jewish Museum a reality for 2023.
We have created a Shofar pin in silver, which you can order for $20 by calling 204-989-5522.
The Shofar is ‘The call to worship; The call to action; The call to make the Jewish message known to the world.’
Information on how to purchase a Shofar pin online will be announced shortly.
We are pleased that Lee will join our team. Lee already has, and will play a significant role in the project’s development. We extend our thanks to Lee and her Finance Director, Lisa Hofheimer, for all their support.
Biography: Lee is Principal of the LJCB Group of Companies. She is also a Board Councilor of the USC Shoah Foundation, a Board Director of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, and a long-standing Board Member of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council. Lee is publisher and editor of A Day in the Life of Israel, Jerusalem in the Shadow of Heaven, and A Day in the Life of Africa.
As a committed supporter of the arts, Lee served on the Council of the Australian National Gallery and the Australian National Gallery Acquisitions Committee. As Chair of the Lee Liberman Foundation, Lee provides strategic funding to non-profit partners in Australia, Israel and the United States.
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We are pleased to present the concept design by Frank Gehry through two new renderings of the building on the site.
Those who have visited Frank Gehry’s studios and seen his work have used many superlatives to describe the design; ‘breathtaking’, ‘astounding’, ‘beautiful’, a ‘true icon and symbol for the Jewish people’.
We believe that, like Frank Gehry’s architecture in Bilbao, Spain that created ‘The Bilbao Effect’, his Tel Aviv project will also give rise to a new term, ‘The Tel Aviv Inspiration’, where we meld great architecture with one of the greatest stories on earth, the Jewish contributions to humanity.
Indeed, the Frank Gehry design is featured on the cover of the Japanese magazine, GA Document. This publication is one of the highest regarded architecture magazines in the world.
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Ralph Appelbaum and Frank Gehry worked together from the very beginning of the design process to ensure that the spaces capture the stories being told in dramatic exhibits.
The ‘stitch book’ is the journey and experience of the museum in spectacular spaces. Considerable effort has gone into integrating the architecture to the story. The stitch book will begin to be circulated within the next few weeks.
On March 9, 2017, Rosita & Phillipe Weissberg hosted a “friend-raising” event in their home in NYC for a small group of potential donors for the WJM. Ralph Appelbaum spoke on the incredible exhibit plans, including the content that is being developed. Rabbi Joseph Telushkin discussed the importance of why the contributions of the Jewish people, over the past 3500 years, needs to be told. Gail Asper gave an update on fundraising and the Concept Design by Frank Gehry.
Our LA Committee has had the opportunity to take potential donors to the Frank Gehry Studios to meet with Frank and his team and to also receive a first-hand look at the model of the museum. These tours resulted in $1.5 million dollars in donations. Thank you LA Committee! Thank you to Frank Gehry, David Nam and others on the Gehry Team.
On May 29, 2017 the Jewish National Fund Manitoba/Saskatchewan Region honoured Rabbi Alan Green at their annual Negev Gala. Approximately 1300 people attended this outstanding event. The net proceeds raised from the Gala have been directed to the World’s Jewish Museum. Thank you JNF!
Gail Asper and Moe Levy spent two weeks in Israel in June 2017, during which a number of fundraising meetings were held. Further meetings are being held in Toronto, Ottawa and New York.
We have identified international scholars to assist in the ‘white papers’ that will become the platform of the narrative of the galleries. These renowned scholars will be engaged for this two to three year process within the next few months as funds are secured and plans are finalized for Phase 2 of the project.
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