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Jewish Museum Frankfurt celebrates reopening after several years of reconstruction

20.10.2020 | 10:25 Clock | Culture
Jewish Museum Frankfurt celebrates reopening after several years of reconstruction

After half a decade of renovation and new construction, the time has finally come: Germany's first municipal Jewish Museum will open its doors to the public in an expanded form on 21 October 2020. The new museum complex is twice as large as the previous museum. It consists of the carefully restored neoclassical Rothschild Palace and a bright new building designed by the renowned Berlin firm of Staab Architects. The Palais houses the new permanent exhibition "We are Now: Jewish Frankfurt from the Enlightenment to the Present" on Jewish life in the modern age is housed in the Palais. This permanent exhibition ties in directly with the exhibition narrative in the award-winning Museum Judengasse, which has attracted and inspired many visitors since 2016.

The newly constructed building, called Lichtbau, offers space for temporary exhibitions and events, as well as a public library, the first milky-kosher café&eacute; in a Jewish Museum in Germany, FLOWDELI, and a museum shop run by the literary shop. The atrium between the two buildings forms the address of the new museum, Bertha-Pappenheim-Platz 1, and presents the impressive sculpture "Untitled" by Ariel Schlesinger.</On the occasion of the reopening, Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann said: "Frankfurt is certainly the most Jewish city in Germany - and with the reopening of the Jewish Museum, it will not only have new and larger exhibition rooms that provide an appropriate setting for the centuries of Jewish history in our home city. The Jewish Museum is dedicated above all to contemporary Jewish life in Frankfurt, which is unique in Germany." </p>

A center for Jewish culture in the past and present

In order to reaffirm its reputation and its very special cultural position not only in Frankfurt, the Jewish Museum Frankfurt has also undergone a programmatic renewal over the past five years and has adopted the model of a 'museum without walls'. In keeping with this mission statement, the museum aims to address a diverse, international audience with an extensive program of events (discussions, lectures, concerts, film screenings), a variety of educational opportunities (guided tours, workshops, creative courses), some of which take place outside the museum, and a concise digital strategy. The new museum complex plays a central role in this. It is conceived as a centre for Jewish culture, past and present, which is particularly concerned with the question of how to live together in a diverse society. The first temporary exhibition, "The Female Side of God", is devoted to this question from a cultural and gender-historical perspective. It presents archaeological finds, medieval manuscripts, Jewish ceremonial objects, Christian iconography, and works of fine art.

"With the Jewish Museum Frankfurt, the City of Frankfurt created a place of remembrance and knowledge as early as 1988, which has made outstanding contributions to the preservation and communication of Jewish history and culture in Frankfurt. The ceremonial reopening after expansion and renovation is another important milestone in the development of this museum. We want Jewish life to be visible in this country - in a society that lives together peacefully and in mutual respect. Anti-Semitism and racism, hatred and agitation must have no place in our society. With Mayor Uwe Becker, our state has a commissioner for Jewish life and the fight against anti-Semitism," said Hessian Prime Minister Volker Bouffier.

Department of Culture Dr. At the opening ceremony, Ina Hartwig once again emphasized the special position of the museum: "With the new museum complex and the Museum Judengasse, which will be reopened in 2016, a unique center for Jewish culture in the past and present has been created, making the diversity of Jewish life historically and for the present tangible in a visual, emotional and cognitive way. The Jewish Museum is more inviting than most buildings in our city, and the public space merges seamlessly into the exhibition area. This openness is a fundamentally important signal in the fight against anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism. The Jewish Museum is one of the most important public spaces in our city, where its diversity is expressed and its pluralism defended"

The new permanent exhibition "We are Now: Jewish Frankfurt from the Enlightenment to the Present"

A central part of the museum is the new permanent exhibition "We are Now", which is presented on three floors of the Rothschild Palace. It offers visitors different approaches to Jewish history and culture in Frankfurt, one of the most important centres of Jewish life in Europe. Starting from the present, the exhibition tour sketches important historical events and conflicts since the Enlightenment, reflects the change of traditions and rituals in modern times and conveys history in stories and from a Jewish perspective. Special emphasis is placed on the presentation of works by renowned visual artists such as Moritz Daniel Oppenheim and Ludwig Meidner, Jewish scholars such as the founder of neo-orthodoxy Samson Raphael Hirsch, and intellectuals such as Martin Buber, Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno.

Jews have shaped the cultural, economic, scientific and social development of Frankfurt even after the Holocaust. With their patronage, their founding of research institutes, industries, private banks, educational, medical and nursing institutions, their participation in social movements and innovations in the fields of art and urban planning, they gave the city of publishing, science, commerce and finance a Europe-wide significance. In order to provide a personal insight into this extraordinary history, the exhibition is devoted in particular to the history of a number of Jewish families, such as the family of Anne Frank, whose private collection of everyday objects and documents is presented here exclusively. The famous Rothschild family also plays a central role in the new museum.

The new Jewish Museum will be open from Wednesday, October 21. The first special exhibition will be on view from 23 October to 14 February 2021. The ceremony for the reopening on 20 October 2020 will be streamed live from the Alte Oper from 5 pm and is will be available on the Jewish Museum's YouTube channel.

All further information can be found at https://www.juedischesmuseum.de/

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