50 years of medals at Skirball; Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise is 2019 inductee

Images courtesy of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame

Thursday, March 21, 5:30 p.m., Mayerson Hall, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

An exhibit of the medals collection of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame will open at the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion with a reception in Mayerson Hall, followed by remarks from Skirball director Abby Schwartz.

Limited-edition 2-inch bronze medals are issued annually to commemorate the accomplishments of Jewish-Americans in various fields, as well as to honor historic sites and events in American Jewish history.

“More than 25,000 Jewish-American Hall of Fame medals have been acquired by collectors around the world over the past 50 years, but the exhibition at the Skirball Museum is the first time that a complete collection has been on public display,” said Hall of Fame founder Mel Wacks.

The 2019 inductee is Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth.

“As founder of Hebrew Union College and many of the institutions of American Reform Judaism, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise is an iconic figure in the history of American Jewish life and well-deserving of this recognition,” Schwartz said.

The exhibition features all 50 medals in duplicate, so that the reverse of each can be viewed, as well as displays that chronicle the history and origin of portrait medals; the process of creating the medals; and texts and video about the accomplishments of the inductees.

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