A panel at this month’s annual Association for Jewish Studies conference included panelists who agreed that the museum’s “self-description as religiously neutral” was inaccurate, said Mark Leuchter, professor of Hebrew Bible at Temple University .For past posts on the Museum of the Bible and related matters, see here and follow the many links.
However, while some Jewish visitors said they felt like props, or felt they were being proselytized to, or had concerns about the legality and authenticity of some items (Hobby Lobby, a craft chain whose owners founded the museum, paid a $3 million fine this summer for smuggling ancient Iraqi artifacts), other Jews are happy with the museum.
The museum collaborated with a number of paid Jewish consultants, including Bible scholars, community advocates and rabbis. The consultants sit on an international advisory board or are expert guides. The museum’s director of content, Seth Pollinger, said 35 to 40 percent of the board and of the guides are Jewish, a dramatic number when you consider Jews are less than 2 percent of the adult U.S. population, according to the Pew Research Center (and less than a half of 1 percent, worldwide, Pew says).
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