Power Rangers Creator Building Albert Einstein Museum In Israel
What do the Power Rangers and Albert Einstein have in common? The creator of one is about to build a first-class museum for the other.
Shuki Levy is the Israeli-American TV producer who co-created the Power Rangers, the iconic superhero franchise which rocketed to popularity in the 1990s and is now having a renaissance with a new movie coming out this month. Levy – whose work in TV includes everything from "Inspector Gadget" to "He-Man" – credits Einstein with being a source of inspiration in his Hollywood career.
"To hear Einstein say things like, 'Imagination is more important than knowledge,' really connected with me strongly because everything I've done in my life until now, it's where I am in my imagination," Levy said.
So how did Levy's affection for Einstein lead him to create a museum for the Nobel Prize-winning physicist? It all started with a trip to Israel.
Levy, who is based in Los Angeles, travels back to his native country often. A few months ago, he visited the Albert Einstein archives at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a school Einstein helped establish. The goal of the archives is to house some of Einstein's most treasured relics and to increase the public awareness of his many achievements.
Over the years, many people have visited the archives, which includes everything from an original copy of the theory of relativity to hundreds of books that Einstein kept in his personal library.
Historian Walter Isaacson, who wrote the definitive biography of Einstein in 2007, spent countless hours holed up in the 2nd floor suite to conduct research for his book. "Godfather" actor James Caan spent the afternoon there on a recent trip to Israel. This past summer, we were granted a tour of the facility and snapped as many photos as we could.
But the current setup is not the most conducive for the curators and archivists to give tours; the small rooms are open to the public, but by appointment only.
"I think at some point we'll have to move out of here and get a dedicated building," Roni Grosz, the curator of the archives, told From The Grapevine during our visit. "Here, we're just disappearing under the radar." Grosz said he sees the day when a new building will not only be a museum, but also a venue to host classes and conferences. "We can do many things."
So Levy decided to put his resources behind constructing an Einstein museum open to the public on the campus of Hebrew University. One idea, although it may not be practical, is to build the museum in the shape of Einstein's head and make it visible from multiple points around Jerusalem. This mimics a commemorative book which also used Einstein's head for inspiration.
In addition to a visitor's center in Jerusalem, Levy said he hopes to create a virtual reality component as well. This would allow people from all across the globe to don special glasses and be instantly transported to the museum.
Rami Kleinmann is the president and CEO of the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University and is helping spearhead the project. "Shuki is one of the nicest, humble and unassuming people that I know.," he told From The Grapevine. "He's amazing. He believes, and rightly so, that the Einstein archives should be open to the public. It's a historical gem, and everybody should have the opportunity to access it as a public place."
In appreciation for Levy's efforts, Kleinmann's organization gave him an Innovation Award at a large Einstein gala in Toronto. He is also being named a co-chair of the Einstein Legacy Project.
A potential site on the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew University has already been identified. When asked how soon he thought the museum would be built, Levy told us: "We're moving fast and we're moving forward, but I would guess a couple of years."