PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If history is a collection of stories over time, then the story of Jews in America added its newest chapter.

The National Museum of American Jewish History opened on Black Friday. The museum chronicles the successes and struggles of the Jewish family.

“There aren’t many Jewish museums that have something like this,” said Nathaniel Shull after exploring the museum.

“There’s an awful lot in this story that resonates for all ethnic groups,” said president and CEO Michael Rosenzweig, “not just for American Jews, but I think this is going to be a museum of great interest to all Americans.”

Stars like Bette Midler headlined the opening gala two weeks ago, as the museum rolled out the red carpet to welcome its first guests. Now the museum is ready to welcome everyone to see exhibits like Sandy Koufax’s glove and Albert Einstein’s pipe.

“It was really awesome,” said Steve Axler. “They did a great job.”

For many visitors, the exhibits brought back childhood memories and family stories of immigration.

Betty Cittone remembered her parents’ stories.

“I like the old suitcases, because when my mom and dad came over to Ellis Island, they had all these featherbeds,” remembered Cittone, “and I wondered how they got them in these old suitcases.”

Jewish immigrants came to America to start a new life with religious freedom and economic opportunity. Their stories and their history now have a place to be remembered and passed on.

Reported By: Oren Liebermann, CBS 3

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