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BERKELEY, Calif. (KCBS)- Berkeley’s Judah L. Magnes Museum is in the process of moving less than two miles across town to the U.C. Berkeley campus.
The relocation is expected to open up new worlds for the famed collection of Jewish history and culture..
But that leaves some asking,why make the move?
Alfire Efimova is the director and chief curator of the Magnus, which for over 50 years has amassed some 10 thousand pieces of Jewish music, art, books, and archives.
“The collection becomes accessible in an unprecedented way for scholarships and researchers,” said Efimova.
It’s centerpiece: the Western Jewish History Archives, documenting an important part of California history.
“Jewish settlers since the gold rush made a very large contribution to the state of California and the city of San Francisco,” said Efimova.
That history says Efimova, will now be available through Cal’s Bancroft Library.
As for the rest of the collection, it will soon have its own home in a refurbished building adjacent to the Cal Campus, allowing curator Francesco Spagnolo to showcase a broad spectrum of the offerings.
There will be everyday life objects, ritual objects, rare books, manuscripts, and sound recordings,” said Spagnolo.
One sound recording included is a 1940’s piece by Yiddish comedian Menasha Skulnik.
The legacies and stories of those Jewish settlers live on in the Magnes collection.