Alaska Opens First-Ever Jewish Museum

Esformes Jewish Center Opens in Anchorage

Northern Exposure: The first exhibit at the new Jewish museum in Alaska focuses on Operation Magic Carpet, which brought 50,000 Yemeni Jews to Israel.
courtesy of alaska jewish museum
Northern Exposure: The first exhibit at the new Jewish museum in Alaska focuses on Operation Magic Carpet, which brought 50,000 Yemeni Jews to Israel.

By JTA

Published July 21, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Alaska opened its first Jewish museum with the dedication of the Esformes Jewish Campus of Alaska in Anchorage, the state’s largest city.

Led by Rabbi Yosef Greenberg and his wife Esty, a group of Alaskan Jews conceived of the project in 2004 and in 2007 arranged for Chicago philanthropists Morris and Delicia Esformes to match donations.

According to a report on Lubavitch.com, several prominent members of Alaska’s Jewish community also pitched in to raise the $4 million needed to buy a building for the campus and much of the $2.5 million needed for renovation. In addition to an early education program and Chabad center, the campus is home to the Alaska Jewish Museum and Cultural Center.

“This is a museum about Alaska’s contribution to Jewish life and about the contribution of Jews to Alaska,” Greenberg said.

U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska), U.S. Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) and Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan all attended the museum’s grand opening on July 4, according to the report.

“On the Wings of Eagles,” the museum’s opening exhibit, tells the story of the role Alaska Airlines pilots played in Operation Magic Carpet. In that operation, which last from June 1949 to September 1950, 49,000 Yemenite Jews were brought to Israel.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.