In an attempt to deflect persistent criticism from Jews, the Museum Of The Bible, founded by the billionaire Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, has hired a jewish Director with admittedly no expertise in the Bible:
Even before the Museum of the Bible opened nearly a year ago, many Americans knew of its evangelical founders, the billionaire Green family.
In 2014, the Greens’ company, the arts-and-crafts giant Hobby Lobby, had successfully sued the Obama administration, in a case decided by the Supreme Court, to free Hobby Lobby from an Obamacare mandate to provide employees free access to birth control.
Some said the case confirmed their suspicions that the museum, located just south of the National Mall, was intended to advance the evangelical view that American government should be based on biblical foundations.
…Most persistently, critics said the museum privileged the Protestant Bible over other versions, particularly the Hebrew Bible.
But much has changed in a year at the $500 million museum, still chaired and largely supported by Steve Green. As its first anniversary approaches, it has announced the appointment of a new chief executive, a new chief operating officer and a new chief curatorial officer.
And two months ago, it quietly hired a director of exhibits — a Jewish woman who was recruited away from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where she was in charge of traveling exhibitions.
Neither a curator nor a Judaica expert, Rena Opert will work on strategic planning — scheduling temporary exhibitions and directing them from concept to completion.
Still, her hiring, which has yet to be announced on the website, is symbolic of the direction the museum says it is committed to: presenting an inclusive view of the Bible, communicated through cutting-edge technology that accurately represents the multitude of ways the Bible has affected civilization.
“I know there are a lot of assumptions about what this is about,” said Opert, 39, referring to the museum. “But I do think they really want to be open and invite everybody to come and engage with the Bible and have diverse audiences. I haven’t seen evidence of an agenda.”
Opert points to a number of exciting exhibits on the horizon: a joint exhibit with the National Museum of African American History and Culture around a “Slave Bible” owned by the historically black Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.; an exhibit of German artist Willy Wiedmann’s illustrated Bible in an accordion-like format that stretches a mile long; a spring exhibit of Passover Haggadahs, the Jewish text that recounts the Exodus story, from medieval Amsterdam.
Though she has spent her entire career in Jewish institutions — prior to working at the Holocaust Museum, she worked at Chicago’s Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership — Opert said she was recruited because of her interest in cultural property, the laws governing who owns art and antiquities…
“They’re not just looking for people from one perspective,” Opert said. “They’re really looking to diversify and bring in museum professionals and people from different backgrounds. People have been incredibly respectful and open to that and wanting to hear these voices…”
“I’m not impressed by who is hired or who is named,” said Baden. “I want to see what they’re actually saying and doing. It’s unclear to me that they have made changes or are even interested in making changes or even recognizing the problems that are relatively straightforward and require changes.”
To Moss, Baden and other scholars, such as Jill Hicks-Keeton of the University of Oklahoma, the museum presents Judaism as a steppingstone for Christianity rather than a religion in its own right; it laid the groundwork for the true and more complete faith — Christianity — to emerge.
…Eric Meyers, professor emeritus of Judaic studies at Duke University and an adviser to the museum, said he would like to see the museum undertake a research project into the hundreds of Torah scrolls rolled up and stacked horizontally behind a large glass wall in the museum. Once they are fixed, he’d like to see some donated to Jewish communities that need them.
But he sees the hiring of Opert as a positive step forward in making the museum more pluralistic and open to people of all faiths.
One might be tempted to ask why a bible museum hired someone like Opert as director who was an expert on the jewish version of the holocaust but knows nothing about the Bible, but that would be antisemitic. As evangelical Christians, the Green family who founded the museum already worshiped the Jews and Israel, but that wasn’t good enough — in other words, it still wasn’t jewish enough. This new jewish Director will make sure that Christianity is de-emphasized while all other ideologies are highlighted.
Of course, no Jew would accept the New Testament as a legitimate part of the Bible, and Jews have been working feverishly to get many passages from the Gospels censored because they are antisemitic. When it really comes down to it, all of the New Testament is antisemitic in that Jews are rebuked at every turn of the page, which makes it even more remarkable that a Jew would be allowed to oversee a museum dedicated to the Bible in its entirety.
Clearly, Opert is a gatekeeper, pure and simple, and her job is to make sure that White people never learn the truth about the Bible and who the Jews really are.