The Magnes Foyer


A message from Director John Efron (Sept 2021)

September 6, 2021

John EfronFor me, fall begins with Rosh Hashanah, a time of reckoning and forecasting. The Jewish new year also marks the beginning of a new academic year — a moment full of excitement and potential.

This fall, after a year of locked doors, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is open every Wednesday by appointment and features a new exhibition highlighting its first ten years as part of UC Berkeley. With your support, we have weathered the pandemic and are beginning the new year with a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm.

As the third largest museum of Jewish material culture in the country — and the only one that is part of a world class research university — The Magnes is unique. While we embraced online programming as a response to the pandemic, we have discovered that Zoom can serve as a platform that expands our reach. It’s wonderful to know that Magnes programming, such as our popular “Zooming In” series, reaches our community members around the world.

There is so much to be excited about at The Magnes this fall. We will soon be sharing more pieces from our archive of the work of the photographer Roman Vishniac, a remarkable chronicler of now-vanished Eastern European Jewish life. Concurrently, we are arranging for our Arthur Szyk exhibition to travel to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. For the first time, The Magnes will have a presence in a museum affiliated with the Smithsonian, the standard bearer for American archival holdings and historically-oriented exhibitions.

We are thrilled to begin a new year and an era of renewed excitement about our unique position at Berkeley and in the world. Join us as we build upon our success and leverage the university’s extraordinary reputation as the epicenter of groundbreaking research and extraordinary faculty and students. Your support is critical as we build upon our offerings, share our beautiful and critically important collections, and serve our community here in Berkeley, the Bay Area, and around the world.

With deepest gratitude,

John Efron
Esther and Jacques Reutlinger Director
The Magnes Collection
Koret Professor of Jewish History

P.S. Have you included The Magnes Collection in your estate plans? We want to recognize you as an inaugural member of The Rebecca and Seymour Fromer Legacy Society!

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