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Jewish Museum Remembers Arlen Specter

National Museum Of American Jewish History
John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Senator Arlen Specter is being remembered at a museum that doesn’t bear his name but epitomizes his life.

You don’t have to look hard in the National Museum of American Jewish History to find stories eerily like Specter’s. Jewish émigrés from Europe come here often with skills unsuited to their new land, but work hard, adapt and prosper enough that their children go to college and create perhaps even an international profile.

Such was Specter’s tale, says museum Director and CEO Ivy Barsky, “Arlen Specter’s story is really the story that the National Museum of American Jewish History tells. Born to immigrant parents from Ukraine, you know he was a first generation American peddler, then graduated Yale Law School, and became the incredibly significant presence that he became.”

And Barsky says he was aware of the parallels.

“Senator Specter spoke at our groundbreaking in 2007 and has been back to the Museum many times during construction and since we’ve been open for the last — little bit less than two years, and he’s just been a stalwart presence and he will be sorely missed.”

Senator Specter was to be laid to rest at Shalom Memorial Park in Huntingdon Valley, following a funeral service at Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley (see related story).