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Director of Beth Hatefusot Quits Amid Charges of Financial Bungling

August 21, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Eliezer Shmueli, director of Beth Hatefutsot, the Nahum Goldman Museum of the Diaspora, has announced his resignation from the financially troubled institution, effective Oct. 1.

He has been embroiled in a dispute with Tel Aviv Mayor Shlomo Lehat and the museum staff over his management.

Shmueli, a former director general of the Education Ministry, says his problems were caused by a deficit of more than $2 million that he inherited when he took over directorship of the museum on the Tel Aviv University campus two years ago.

Lehat, who welcomed Shmueli’s resignation, said the director had only himself to blame for the fiscal mess.

The museum is borrowing from banks to meet expenses.

Staff members say the museum has stagnated under Shmueli. It failed to secure matching funds for $1.5 million donated by the Spiegel family of Los Angeles.

As a result, construction of a new multi-million-dollar wing devoted to contemporary Jewish life was halted.

Beth Hatefutsot is not the only Tel Aviv museum in financial straits. The city-run Tel Aviv Museum narrowly averted a crippling strike last week, when employees agreed to arbitration.

They were protesting economic cutbacks by Director Marc Shep, whom they blamed for the museum’s difficulties.

Shep, however, enjoys Mayor Lehat’s full confidence.

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