Advisory Council 

Diana Cohen Altman

Diana Cohen Altman is a longtime cultural professional. As an exhibition writer at the Smithsonian Institution for 16 years, she helped to develop more than 200 exhibitions for display around the world. For 9 years she served as editor-in-chief of the magazine of the National Association for Museum Exhibition, of which she was a board member. From 2002 to 2008, she was employed by B'nai B'rith International as director of the Klutznick National Jewish Museum/Phil Lax Archive/Center for Jewish Culture.
Ms. Altman has been Associate Publisher of Moment magazine, an international journal of Jewish life, culture, and thought, and currently is Executive Director of the Karabakh Foundation, which celebrates the culture, arts, and heritage of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.
Diana lives in Virginia with her husband and two sons. In her spare time, Ms. Altman designs and teaches fiber craft. She has won a juried competition for her knitwear design. Ms. Altman holds a bachelors degree in anthropology from Vassar College.

Michael Feldberg, Ph.D.

Michael Feldberg, Ph.D. is president of The History Consultancy, LLC, which advises cultural and educational institutions on issues relating to American religious and ethnic history.
From 1991 to 2004, Dr. Feldberg served as executive director of the American Jewish Historical Society, the nation’s oldest ethnic historical organization, and from 2004 to 2008 was its director of research.
Dr. Feldberg is the author or editor of nine books in the fields of American ethnic and immigrant history. His most recent publication is Blessings of Freedom: Chapters in American Jewish History, a collection of his long-running series of articles in the American Jewish press.
He is also the curator of several exhibitions, including From Haven to Home: 350 Years of American Jewish History, which is currently on a national tour.
Feldberg holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Rochester and an A.B. from Cornell University. He has received several fellowships and award over the course of his career, including ones from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Gail Twersky Reimer, Ph.D.

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Reimer began her professional career as a faculty member of Wellesley College shortly after receiving her Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Rutgers University. While at Wellesley she was awarded fellowships from the American Association of University Women and the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, and received the prestigious Pinanski Prize for excellence in teaching.
From 1988 to 1995, Dr. Reimer was Associate Director of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities (MFH), the state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In the early 1990’s, Reimer conceived and co-edited two pathbreaking anthologies of Jewish women’s writings — Reading Ruth: Women Reclaim a Sacred Story and Beginning Anew: A Woman’s Companion to the High Holy Days. This work led to the founding of the Jewish Women’s Archive in 1995.
The Jewish Women’s Archive emphasizes the power of new technologies to transform both our practice and knowledge of history, and is nationally recognized as a unique and vital contributor to a more expansive and inclusive vision of Jewish life, past, present and future. The Jewish Women’s Archive’s award-winning website,, has the most extensive collection of material on American Jewish women on the web.
In just nine years, the Jewish Women’s Archive has become a leading advocate for and center of education in Jewish women’s history, ensuring that we remember the women who came before us, honor the women among us, and inspire those who will follow us.
Dr. Reimer lives in Boston with her husband. They have two daughters.

Daniel S. Mariaschin

Daniel S. Mariaschin is executive vice president of B'nai B'rith International, and the director of the BBI Center for Human Rights and Public Policy (CHRPP). As the organization's top executive officer, he directs and supervises programs, activities, and staff in over 50 countries where B'nai B'rith is represented. As CHRPP director, he is spokesman for B'nai B'rith, interpreting its policies to a variety of audiences, including Congress and the media, and coordinating its programs on issues relating to the Jewish community.
In the United States and abroad, Mariaschin regularly meets with heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers, opposition leaders, human rights and religious leaders, and influential members of the media to help protect the rights of Jewish communities worldwide as well as to promote better relations with the State of Israel.
Mariaschin was a member of the Rudolph Giuliani-U.S. delegation to the 2003 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe conference on anti-Semitism in Vienna and a public advisor to the U.S. delegation at the 2004 conference in Berlin. He participated in negotiations that achieved the transfer of torah scrolls from the Lithuanian government to Israel for use there and in Diaspora Jewish communities. He is a member of the International Advisory Committee of CEANA, the Argentinean commission studying that country's relations with the Nazi regime, and served on the commission on property restitution in Slovakia.
Mariaschin was a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Conference on Holocaust Remembrance, Education and Research; the B'nai B'rith delegation to the State Department's 1998 Holocaust Assets Conference; and has initiated programs on Holocaust education with the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science.
The U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad awarded Mariaschin the Cultural Pluralism Award in recognition of his work in Central and Eastern Europe.
Mariaschin received a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of New Hampshire and his Master's degree in Contemporary Jewish Studies from Brandeis University. He received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of New Hampshire, and has also been honored with the American Jewish Communal Leadership Award from Brandeis University.

Abby Schwartz

Abby Schwartz has served as director of the Skirball Museum on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion since 2013. She is the former curator of education at the Taft Museum of Art, and has lectured widely on Jewish art, notably at the Melton School and the Osher Life Long Learning Institute of the University of Cincinnati. While at the Taft, she co-curated an exhibition of Jewish and Christian devotional objects with the Skirball Museum and served as general editor for the winner of the 1998 Ohio Museums Association Visual Communications Award in the book/catalogue category. She has written exhibition catalogues and brochures, and was involved with gathering photographic illustrations for the 4-volume catalogue of the Taft Museum of Art collections. Schwartz earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Rochester, where she graduated cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and a master’s degree in art history from the University of Cincinnati. She is the recipient of the 2000 Museum Educator of the Year award from the Ohio Art Education Association and was a Wyoming Citizen of the Year in 2001. She was also the recipient of the 2003 National Art Education Association’s Museum Educator Award for the Western Region. Abby Schwartz was the first National Coordinator for Jewish American Heritage Month, serving from 2009 through 2015.

Mel Wacks

Jewish-American Hall of Fame founder Mel Wacks was born in the Bronx on July 10, 1938. He began collecting at the age of 10, after his father gave him a pouch of old coins. Mel earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering at CCNY and NYU, respectively, but found his true calling in the world of numismatics. Mel founded The Jewish-American Hall of Fame at the Magnes Museum in 1969, to honor the unique contributions made by Jewish Americans to all phases of the American way of life.
Mel headed the committee that created and produced the official medal commemorating 350 Years of Jewish Life in America (1654-2004). He is proud that he designed the reverses of The Jewish-American hall of Fame medals honoring Houdini, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Elie Wiesel. Mel wrote Medals of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame 1969-2019 that can be read here, and The Handbook of Biblical Numismatics that can be read here. In addition, he has been on the Board of the American Israel Numismatic Association for most of the past 50 years, and served as President from 2002-2020. Mel created the content for The Jewish-American Hall of Fame’s website, which won the 2002 Numismatic Literary Guild’s Award for “The Best Non-Commercial Web Site.”

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