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Behind The Scenes Look At Cincinnati Jewish Art Collection

It's something new everyday for employees of the Skirball Museum on the campus of Hebrew Union College as they unbox 1,500 to 3,000 ancient and modern art pieces donated by the now closed B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C.

The collection acquired in May, 2015 is more than quadrupling the size of the museum's holdings, making it one of the largest and most important Jewish museums in the Midwest.

Director Abby Schwartz showed off a few of the items to WVXU as she and staff members Sheri Besso and Amanda Zahn unwrapped them. One was a two-and-a-half inch Eastern European ceremonial wedding band with a castle on top. If you pull a latch on the castle, you can see a small wine cup inside. There is also a secret compartment.

Another box revealed a long and lanky statue of baseball player Sandy Koufax.

Ten other pieces of art (pictured above) from this collection are already on display through January 24, 2016 on the second floor of the Mayerson Hall.

Items in the larger collection come from as far away as India, Algeria, Italy, Israel and Iran.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology