Jewish Museum in Philly Renamed for Donor

The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia has announced that it will be changing its name.

The museum will now be known as the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in honor of donor Stuart Weitzman. Weitzman, a designer who made his fortune in the shoe business, donated an undisclosed amount of money to the museum to help it recovery from bankruptcy.

According to WHYY, when the museum entered bankruptcy in March 2020, it had a debt burden of $30 million, largely leftover from the $150 million construction of its new building on Independence Mall. Another donor Mitchell Morgan purchased the building for $10 million and rented it back to the museum for just $1,000 a month. Weitzman’s gift has allowed the museum to repurchase the building. The rest of his donation has established the Stuart Weitzman Endowment Fund, which will help support future exhibitions and other activities.

In a statement Misha Galperin, the CEO of the museum, connected the recent gift and the museum’s reopening to the story of Hanukkah. “The very word ‘Hanukkah’ means dedication in Hebrew. This year at Hanukkah we rededicate ourselves to our mission as we dedicate the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History,” Galperin wrote.