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November 21, 2018 2:07 pm

Philadelphia Jewish Museum Gets Surge of Donations After Far-Right Rally Held Nearby

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia has received a surge of donations after a far-right demonstration was held across the street this past weekend.

According to media reports, only around two dozen people showed up at the “We the People” rally at historic Independence Mall on Saturday, and they were met by hundreds of counter-protesters.

Ahead of the event, Penzeys Spices — a Wisconsin-based company that has a location next to the museum — published a lengthy Facebook post in which it called on customers to contribute to the NMAJH.

“Sadly, Saturday won’t be a good day to visit our Philadelphia Store, as the building we are in will be closed because of actual Nazis actually marching right outside our actual front door,” the post said. “We aren’t the draw, it’s Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell across the street that they will be there for. Our next-door neighbor is the National Museum of American Jewish History. In the wake of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting not even a month ago, Saturday will be a tough day for them. Can we stop pretending that this president or the Republican Party that is now fully in his control are anything good people should still support?”

Further down, the post added, “While I have you, if you are lucky enough to have $18 to spare, can you give thought to the people at the National Museum of American Jewish History next door to our Philadelphia Store? Hate has a way of wearing even the strongest of us down, and the amount of hate that’s been allowed to be directed towards America’s Jewish community in these last two years is staggering. Add in the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting that so many rushed to get behind us, and the thought of actual Nazis marching outside of their door is simply too much for any slice of the American pie to have to face alone.”

“The museum has their donations page set up in $18 increments,” the post pointed out. “A bunch of us visiting their page and leaving $18 to say someone they never met cares about them would mean a lot.”

Carolynn McCormack — the museum’s PR and digital content manager — told The Algemeiner on Wednesday that the NMAJH had received almost 400 donations since the post was published.

“The museum was so moved by and incredibly grateful for Penzeys Spices’ Facebook post,” she said. “It was not coordinated in any way and was because someone in Wisconsin cared enough to share this with his network. We have been in touch to express our gratitude.”

“Because of these donations, the museum is able to help fight antisemitism before it starts,” she continued. “These donations, and donations like them, help NMAJH expand and grow our educational initiatives and make our mission possible.”

The museum remained open during Saturday’s rally.

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