The results are in! The first eighteen distinguished Jewish Americans to be featured in the Museum's Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame have been chosen.
The Gallery will include Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Louis Brandeis, Albert Einstein, Mordecai Kaplan, Sandy Koufax, Estée Lauder, Emma Lazarus, Isaac Leeser, Golda Meir, Jonas Salk, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Rose Schneiderman, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Henrietta Szold, and Isaac Mayer Wise.
The extraordinary accomplishments of these individuals illustrate that a hallmark of the American experience has been an unparalleled opportunity to aspire, achieve, and possibly change the world. All 218 individuals included in the public vote will be included in an interactive database that will be available to all Museum visitors as well as on its website.
During the summer of 2009, the public voted on the eighteen to be included in the Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame from a list of 218 possible candidates. More than 209,000 votes were cast from 56 countries on the Museum's Only in America® website. The Museum selected for inclusion in the Gallery the person who received the most votes in each category. In addition to the public's recommendations, the Museum's historians and curators worked to ensure that the group reflected Jews' 350 years of history in the United States, the important achievements of American Jewish women and men, and the diverse fields in which Jews have been involved.
Located on the first floor of the Museum's new home, the Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame will be an innovative combination of multimedia, original artifacts and interactive experiences. It will illustrate the choices, challenges and opportunities a select few individuals encountered on their pathways to remarkable achievement. Through the lives of real people, some well known, others less so, the Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame will weave together compelling stories from the past and present with the larger themes of the Museum's 24,000-square-foot core exhibition.
Thanks to everyone who voted.
The Jewish Exponent and the JTA are media partners for the Only in America® project