November 1, 2018 – Mel Wacks founded the Jewish-American Hall of Fame at the Magnes Museum in Berkeley (California) in 1969 “to honor the unique contributions made by Jewish Americans to all phases of the American way of life.” It is thus very likely to be the longest-running series of art medals in the United States, possibly even the world.
The first medal in the Jewish-American Hall of Fame series was created by Victor Ries.
Some of those who have been honored and commemorated in the Jewish-American Hall of Fame are well-known, others have not received the attention and respect by popular media and history books that they deserve. The list includes athletes (e.g. Hank Greenberg), TV personalities (e.g. Bess Myerson), figures of historical importance (e.g. The Four Chaplains and Henrietta Szold), scientists (Gertrude Elion and Albert Einstein), writers (e.g. Elie Wiesel) and many others. The first of these medals was dedicated to religious leader and educator Judah L. Magnes All of the pieces share a unique rounded trapezoidal shape and have always been issued in bronze and silver, both at fairly limited mintages, making them a much sought-after collectors’ item
The proceeds of the medals are partly used to financially support educational projects
As experts, Philip Attwood and Skyler Liechty were asked to verify this record on October 30, 2018.
A virtual tour of all medals of this series is available on the Jewish-American Hall of Fame website.
That is also where you can find an article by Mel Wacks on the creative process of designing and producing a medal for this series.
Mel Wacks presented medals created by Victor Ries and Gerta Ries Wiener between 1969 and 1994 at the ANA Worlds Fair of Money in 2017.
If you also want to submit a CoinsWeekly Coin Record, this article will tell you what information we need from you.