Almost 10 years ago, Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, his wife Esty and a group of Alaskan Jews began planning for a Jewish campus. In 2007, Greenberg and his family arranged a deal with Chicago-based philanthropists Morris and Delicia Esformes to match all donations.
They needed to raise $4 million to purchase the building for the campus and $2.5 million for renovation, according to Lubavitch.com.
Now, five years later, the Esformes Jewish Campus of Alaska has been dedicated, including a museum focusing on “Alaska’s contribution to Jewish life and the contribution of Jews to Alaska,” says Greenberg.
The campus features an early education program and Chabad center, as well as the Alaska Jewish Museum and Cultural Center.
The museum’s opening exhibit, "On the Wings of Eagles," tells the story of the important role Alaska Airlines pilots played during Operation Magic Carpet, a mission that brought 49,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel between June 1949 and September 1950.
Alaskan Senator Mark Begich, Alaskan Rep. Don Young and Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan were all in attendance at the museum’s opening.
For more info about the museum, visit www.alaskajewishmuseum.com .
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life