National Museum of American Jewish History

Courtesy of the Bernstein family

As a 16-year-old “musical theatre kid,” I’ve always linked the name Leonard Bernstein with West Side Story, and those familiar songs that never fail to bring a smile to my face, from "America" to "Somewhere." I love them all.

Gift of Henny Durmashkin Gurko, Museum of Jewish Heritage, NY

A 29-year-old Leonard Bernstein stands next to Holocaust survivors—members of the Ex-Concentration Camp Orchestra. They’re at a displaced persons camp in Germany in May 1948, four years after their liberation from the Nazi death camps. 

Al Ravenna, courtesy of The Library of Congress

What did “faith” mean to Leonard Bernstein? Although to many his name is synonymous with music, he described his life’s work as a search for a solution to the 20th-century crisis of faith. 

Composer, jazz trumpeter, and community activist Hannibal Lokumbe, the Philadelphia Orchestra's Composer-in-Residence, has composed two intriguing works for string quartet that explore the lives of two heroic women, Anne Frank and Fannie Lou Hamer.  Check out the performances by Philadelphia Orchestra musicians on Saturday, February 25th at the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Join Jill as she interviews Dr. Josh Perelman, Deputy Director for Exhibitions, Programs and Collections, and Michael Rosenzweig, President and CEO of the National Museum of American Jewish History. They discuss the founding of the museum, the role it plays as the country's only museum dedicated exclusively to telling the still-unfolding story of Jews in America, and the importance of its status as a Smithsonian affiliate institution.