Wordcloud um den Begriff Judentum, erstellt bei http://www.wordcloudit.com

What are contemporary Jewish cultures?

What are Jewish cultures? What is a Jewish present? When does it take place? How do we recognise it?

A museum must perceive!

Museums are storehouses of collective memories. But it is also important that collections are able to reflect particular current values, standards, processes and phenomena. Often however, the significance of objects is only recognisable from a greater distance in time. The key to a meaningful expansion of the collection lies in an attentive and continuous observation and analysis of the present.

The collection focal point Contemporary Jewish Cultures can be characterised by a large thematic, religious and cultural diversity. Its aim is to explore, outline, depict and communicate a wide and authentic image of contemporary Judaism and its culture while taking into account religious and cultural diversity.


Gary Tobin, founder of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, San Francisco, 2006

"So many of our traditions themselves have inherent cultural aspects. Take the Seder Evening: essentially it is highly theatrical! If religiousness if removed from the culture, it become uninteresting."

Where do we find contemporary Jewish culture?

We can find it in

  • life stories, liturgical music, synagogue and community architecture, literature, religious writings…
  • videos, magazines, Internet sites, photographs, musical recordings, art, ritual objects…
  • themes like the repercussions of the Shoah, immigration from the states of the former Soviet Union, identification with Israel, religiousness, secularism, stereotypes, anti-Semitism, Jewish humour, cuisine, Jewish languages in use…

Discuss with us!

  • In your view, what makes a thing a contemporary witness? Can you give examples?
  • What time period do you think contemporary Jewish culture covers?
  • Can you name an object you regard as part to contemporary Jewish cultures?
  • What do you see as a "Jewish object"?
  • Have you got a contemporary Jewish object you would like to show us?
  • Can you tell us something about contemporary Judaism?