MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE If Seats Are Comfortable
They’ll Listen To Speeches
Text and Photos by Tim Boxer
FTER World War Two, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered all his generals to visit the death camps. He wanted as many people as possible to see what the Nazi genocide was all about.
"Ike knew that in 20 or 25 years, there will be people who’ll say it never happened," said Peter Kalikow.
With that in mind, Kalikow teamed up with fellow real estate mogul Bruce Ratner to construct the Robert M. Morgenthau Wing at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Museum director David Marwell marveled at the fact that they completed this complex project was on time and within budget. "We owe them a monumental debt for the monument they created for us," Marwell said.
New York City DA Robert Morgenthau, the museum’s founding chairman, and trustee Ingeborg Rennert honored Kalikow and Ratner at the museum’s 12th annual heritage dinner held in the auditorium of the Morgenthau Wing.
Morgenthau, who helped raise millions for the building, said that for a while people would cross the street when they’d see him coming.
This night was different. The DA had the nice task of thanking people for their generosity rather than asking for money.
Ratner, chairman of Forest City Ratner whose projects include MetroTech in Brooklyn and the new headquarters of The New York Times in Manhattan, made sure that the seats in the auditorium were thoroughly comfortable. "If the seats are not comfortable, you won’t listen to the speakers."