United States of America
Years in the field:
Areas of Expertise
Education, Exhibits development, Grants/Foundational Giving, Senior Leadership, Outreach and Public Engagement, Project Management, Strategic Planning
Avi Decter, Managing Partner of History Now, is an interpretive planner known for programs and exhibits interpreting difficult subjects, including labor unrest at the Boott Cotton Mill Museum in Lowell, MA; civil war at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA; and genocide at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Over the years, he has helped to plan new museums in six states and the District of Columbia. His projects have been honored by the AAM, the AASLH, and two Dibner Awards for Excellence in Museum Exhibits.
Mr. Decter has directed the Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia (now the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History) and the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore. In 1977, Decter was a co-founder of the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM), which he has served as an officer and advisor for more than 40 years; he continues to moderate CAJM's online Talking Circles. For two decades, he was also a senior advisor to the National Foundation for Jewish Culture (NFJC).
Decter is the author of Interpreting American Jewish History at Museums and Historic Sites (2016) and co-editor of Change Is Required: Preparing for the Post-Pandemic Museum (2022), among other books and exhibition catalogs. With Ken Yellis, he is the author of numerous blogs, a manifesto for next practice (published by the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums), and the "History in Progress" column in History News.
Educated at Columbia University, the London School of Economics, and Brandeis University, Decter has served as senior staff at the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library and the National Museum of American History (Smithsonian Institution).