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Ratner Takes Over as Chairman of Museum of Jewish Heritage

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TWC News: Ratner Takes Over as Chairman of Museum of Jewish Heritage
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It's the changing of the guard at a city institution as one prominent New Yorker steps down and another steps up. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

The main entrance of the Museum of Jewish Heritage bears Robert Morgenthau's name. The former Manhattan district attorney has been the chairman since the museum's opening in 1997, but this week, Morgenthau became chairman emeritus and handed over the reigns.

"The board voted, but it was important for Bob, I think, to make sure that he was passing the torch on to someone that he had confidence in," said David Marwell, director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

The new chairman is developer Bruce Ratner. He's been on the board for years, but Friday was his first day in this position.

"Of all the institutions that I'm involved with, this has always been the most important," Ratner said.

The museum's focus is on Jewish history, particularly the Holocaust. Ratner said as chairman, he wants to bring more money, attention and visitors to the Battery Park institution.

"We now have 50,000 schoolchildren. We'd like to increase that number even more, because it's the young people in our school system who need to learn about the lessons that this museum is able to teach," Ratner said.

"We're a history museum, and we teach a very important history," Marwell said. "We teach about the Holocaust, about the second World War, about immigration."

Ratner adds this new title to many others he holds. He's a part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets, and the majority owner and developer of Barclays Center, which is now vying to be the site of the Democratic National Convention.

"It represents the diversity of the country," Ratner said. "It's the right place for it. It's the only right place for it. The other cities, wonderful cities, but nothing like Brooklyn."

He said Brooklyn is well equipped to host the DNC, and he plans to prove it.

"We make a presentation, and we'll make the best presentation I know, and we've got to win. We have to," he said.

It's with that same energy that he said he plans to boost the museum and expand its offerings.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage will be among more than a dozen museums in Lower Manhattan offering free admission on Tuesday as part of the first ever Night at the Museums. ClientIP: UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP