Museum of Southern Jewish Experience garners fifth place in USA Today’s Best New Attractions
By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN
The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience (MSJE) secured the fifth spot in the Best New Attraction category for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2021 awards. A panel of experts made the initial 20 nominations from which the public voted on the USA Today site to determine the order for the final top ten.
In addition to its fifth place spot, the MSJE secured the highest ranking for any museum and was the only nominee from the State of Louisiana.
MSJE, which opened officially on May 27, 2021, traces the history of Jews in the American South from Colonial times to the present day and features a number of interactive exhibits, stories and photos.
“The people have spoken,” said MSJE executive director Ken Hoffman when contacted by the CCJN via telephone. “We just told people who visited and who appreciated what the mission of the museum and the experience that we created (was), if they thought we were great, to vote for us.”
Attendance has been good, but less than expected due to the various waves of COVID infections, according to Hoffmann. The museum is requiring masking in order for entry to the exhibits, but vaccination cards are not required, he said.
In addition, MSJE will be adding new features to existing exhibits, he said. “So, there will be some new things for people to see within the coming weeks,” Hoffman promised.
“One of the ways we can add more content is by adding more electronics – “interactives “– screens where you can flip through and see different stories and different images,” Hoffman added. “So that is on the docket for 2022.”