Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson

Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson rescued the faltering Jewish Museum in New York and created Dorot, which launched some of the finest non-denominational Jewish study programs worldwide. Underleider-Mayerson earned a BA in 1942 and an MA in Hebrew studies in 1971 from NYU. From 1967–1969 she was a curator of the Jewish Museum, noted for bringing the Masada exhibit to the museum. She then became director from 1972–1980, shifting the museum’s focus from avant-garde art back to Judaica, launching exhibitions of art rescued from the Holocaust, and restoring the struggling institution’s financial stability. She wrote two books, Jewish Folk Art from the Biblical Period to Modern Times and Museums of Israel. In 1972 she became founding president of Dorot, creating professorships of Judaic studies at major universities across America, funding archaeological digs and travel grants for students to study in Israel, and establishing the Museum of Bedouin Culture at Kibbutz Lahav. Dorot also funds pluralistic study programs in Israel, including the Pardes Institute. As vice-chair of the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East at Harvard, Ungerleider-Mayerson also funded programs for Arabs and Israelis to study together at Harvard.


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Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson.
Courtesy of the Dorot Foundation, Providence, Rhode Island.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson." (Viewed on April 19, 2021) <>.


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