Alaska Opens First-Ever Jewish Museum

Image: courtesy of alaska jewish museum

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, 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.

Tagged as:

Written by


Your Comments

The 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 Forward requires 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 and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. 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 Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Alaska Opens First-Ever Jewish Museum

Thank you!

This article has been sent!