CEO of National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia resigns

In 2017 some staff were laid off, salaries were frozen and empty positions not filled.

May 22, 2019 03:45
1 minute read.

Philadelphia. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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(JTA) — Ivy Barsky has resigned as the chief executive of the financially struggling National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

During her term, the $150 million museum opened in 2010 featured well-regarded exhibits on Leonard Bernstein, Jewish songwriters and the cartoonist Rube Goldberg.

Barsky inherited a museum that was facing financial challenges when she took over in 2012. She rearranged departments, let staff members go and instituted a strategic plan, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In 2017 some staff were laid off, salaries were frozen and empty positions not filled, and the museum cafe was closed. Barsky took a reduction of $25,000 from her $324,000 salary, according to the report.

Barsky will leave the museum at the end of June.

“It has been a great privilege to lead our Museum that does what no other museum in this country does — uniquely preserving and interpreting American Jewish history,” Barsky, 55, said in a statement. “This history celebrates the best of America and what this country has made possible, as well as its ongoing challenges and the work yet to be done.”

The museum board has hired Misha Galperin, president of Zandafi Philanthropy Advisors, to help the museum put a transition plan in place, according to the Inquirer.

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