Rabbi Shaul Shimon Deutsch, founder and director of the Living Torah Museum in Brooklyn, New York, credits a BAR articlea with leading not only to a marked increase in visitors, including Christian visitors, but also to donations of important artifacts.
Rabbi Deutsch’s museum is one of the few institutions in this country devoted exclusively to Biblical archaeology. It is located in New York City’s Jewish Orthodox (and heavily Chasidic) neighborhood of Boro Park. Chasidic Jews are not noted for their interest in ancient history or in archaeology. In fact, Chasidim are usually mentioned in connection with archaeology only when they are protesting the excavation of human remains at a dig.
The BAR article caught the attention of Dr. Donald Brown, the last living member of James Starkey’s excavation of Lachish in the 1930s. Dr. Brown had been allowed to keep some finds that were considered “doubles.” Now an elderly man, Brown donated them to the museum. “He didn’t want to give the items to a big museum,” Rabbi Deutsch told BAR.
Rabbi Deutsch drove more than eight hours from New York City to Brown’s home in Waterville, Maine, to collect the