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First Lady Michelle Obama presents the National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Yiddish Book Center community member Peter Manseau (L) and Founder and President Aaron Lansky (C).(Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS))

First Lady Michelle Obama presented the National Medal for Museum and Library Service to the Yiddish Book Center today. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community, and 10 institutions were recognized this year.

Aaron Lansky, founder and president of the Yiddish Book Center, and Peter Manseau, whose National Jewish Book Award-winning novel Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter was inspired by his 1996 summer internship at the Amherst, Mass institution, accepted the award from the first lady in Washington, D.C.

“The Center’s work chronicling the Jewish story and educating families about Yiddish and Jewish culture is outstanding,” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said in a statement. “This award is a well-deserved recognition of the Center’s efforts to preserve Yiddish books and literature for future generations.”





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