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Museum Musings

A Visit From Tovah

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Tovah4Turning down the couch in favor of crouching closer to the television in the Museum’s 1950s house to watch 19-year-old Barbara Streisand sing was only one of the many indications that Tovah Feldshuh loved the NMAJH. The American Jewish actress, singer and playwright recently paid us a visit and enjoyed a tour led by Museum President and CEO Michael Rosenzweig and Ivy L. Barsky, the Gwen Goodman Museum Director and COO.


On complete vocal rest because of her recent role in Gypsy at the Bristol Riverside Theatre, we had to rely on her gestures, the tears in her eyes, her silent laughs and okay, a little whispering at the end, to know how she felt about the exhibits and the Museum as a whole.


While in the galleries Tovah mentioned that she‘d like to bring her 101-year-old mother with her next time.  Of course, when I reminded her before she left to do just that, she put her hands on my shoulders and said, “Only if you come see Gypsy.”


I saw it, and she and the play were fabulous!


Tovah Feldshuh narrates and appears in a film about Golda Meir in the Museum's Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame. She played the American-born Israeli in Golda's Balcony, which set a record as the longest-running one-woman play in Broadway history in January 2005.tova3 



-Contributed by Ilana Blumethal

Public Relations Associate



Museum Educator Wins Applause

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Linda Steinberg, the Museum’s ace director of education, has another gig as executive director of The Thomashefsky Project.  She founded the Project in 1998—together with Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas—to rescue, communicate and preserve the story of Bessie and Boris Thomashefsky, who founded Yiddish theater in America and had great influence on the development of American popular culture at the turn of the 19th century.


Part of that effort has been the creation and production of The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Jewish Theatre, presented by the NY Philharmonic last June. The show was recently acknowledged by The Forward as one of the five most important performances of 2011.  

Here’s a tip of the ol’ baton and a standing O for that achievement.


Artifacts from the Thomashefskys can be seen on the Museum’s third floor, Dreams of Freedom, in the Yiddish theater. Tilson Thomas also appears in the Museum’s Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame, testifying to the achievements and impact of Leonard Bernstein.




--Contributed by Jay Nachman

Public Relations Director