The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia has launched a $100 million fundraising campaign with a $25 million contribution from Sidney Kimmel, the founder of clothing company Jones Apparel Group, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The funds raised by the campaign will be used to build a five-story, 80,000-square-foot facility for the museum and help it establish a national reputation.
When the new building is completed in 2006, the museum will have a much larger space for its permanent exhibits, two temporary exhibit areas, an auditorium, and a resource center for academic research. The new facility is expected to cost $80 million, with the rest of the money raised going toward an endowment. Including Kimmel's gift, the museum has raised a total of $36.5 million to date.
Kimmel, whose 1993 donation launched the campaign for Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, has also given to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. "It is a wonderful opportunity for the country to finally establish a national museum of American Jewish history," he told the Inquirer. "The fact that I'm Jewish doesn't hurt. As you get older, you become more aware of your heritage. I think that is leading me to do some of my donations."