Aiding projects and operating support for important Jewish cultural institutions in the New York City area.
Since 2007, the Foundation has helped the Center for Jewish History and its five Jewish partner institutions catalogue a large volume of manuscripts, letters, photographs and other archival materials that document the lives of Jews. Support also led to the creation of an institutional archive and to a dedicated space at the Center for this work, named the Shelby White & Leon Levy Archival Processing Laboratory.
The Foundation provides funds to support two Leon Levy assistant curators or curatorial assistants who aid in the organization of exhibitions. Among the recent exhibits they have worked are ‘Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power” and “Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design” and the reconfigured display of the permanent collection. Previously, the Foundation supported a multi-year project to research and catalogue the objects from Islamic lands in the museum’s collection.
With Foundation support, in fall 2017 Bard inaugurated a five-year program in Jewish material culture. The program will include an annual visiting professor, rotating among ancient, medieval and modern periods, who will teach students, deliver public lectures, and contribute to books in BGC’s Cultural Histories of the Material World series.
With major support from the Leon Levy Foundation and Jerome Levy Foundation, the Museum in 2007 purchased 103 Orchard Street, which it transformed into the Sadie Samuelson Levy Immigrant Heritage Center, an auditorium, performance space, exhibition galleries and museum shop. Named in honor of Leon Levy’s mother, the daughter of an immigrant cloak seller who came to the Lower East Side in 1869, it complements the museum’s 97 Orchard Street building and allows space for expanded programming.
The Foundation has supported several exhibitions, including “The Arch of Titus, From Jerusalem to Rome and Back,” “Passages through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War” and “Trail of the Magic Bullet: The Jewish Encounter with Modern Medicine, 1860-1960.” The Foundation also helped finance an international symposium on the Dreyfus affair and the restoration of an important mosaic.