George M. Ross Dies at 77; Helped Establish Major Jewish Museum
George M. Ross, a Goldman Sachs executive and a philanthropist who successfully resisted the gravitational pull of the nation’s usual cultural capitals to help establish a major museum of Jewish history in Philadelphia, raising $154 million for the project, died on Friday at his home in Bryn Mawr, Pa. He was 77....
The National Museum of American Jewish History, which was begun modestly in 1976 by members of the city’s oldest Jewish congregation as a showcase for religious and cultural artifacts, became Mr. Ross’s focus in the late 1990s, when plans were hatched to turn it into something more. The longtime chairman of the museum board, Lyn Ross, Mr. Ross’s wife, asked him to help.
Mr. Ross became the leader of a campaign to raise $154 million, and to move the museum from its tiny quarters to a new and much larger space at the east end of Independence Mall, a location selected to symbolize and celebrate the tradition of freedom that enabled Jewish life in America to flourish....
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