National Museum of American Jewish History gala

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - November 13, 2010

It chronicles the story of Jews in America.

Bette Midler and Jerry Seinfeld will be performing. Guests began arriving around 6:00pm for what promises to be a grand evening on Independence Mall.

The ice sculptures expert carving, one of the final details in the preparation for the Grand Opening Gala. Flowers in place, staff-getting final instructions for an elegant and star-studded night planned to celebrate the new National Museum of American Jewish History.

Comcast Spectacor Chairman and philanthropist Ed Snider standing in the "Only in America Ed Snider Gallery" featuring the achievements of 18 prominent Jewish Americans.

"It's the only museum of its type that celebrates the Jewish experience in America, and how much the United States has meant to the Jewish people," explains Ed Snider.

The $150 million, 100,000 square foot building is the new home of the museum that was first opened in 1976 in a smaller building a half-block away.

The exhibits explore freedom and civil rights, struggles and triumphs of American Jews through artifacts and interactive technology.

The museum president spoke earlier this week.

"We tell the story of what one immigrant ethnic group, American Jews, has been able to achieve given the blessings of freedom that we enjoy in this country," said Museum President and CEO, Michael Rosenzweig.

The celebration continues on Sunday when Vice President Joe Biden will be speaking. The museum opens to the public on November 26.

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