Transitions - The Jewish Diaspora in Europe

Transitions - The Jewish Diaspora in Europe

Organizer
Jewish Museum Frankfurt
Funded by
Stiftung "Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft"
ZIP
60311
Location
Frankfurt
Country
Germany
From - Until
21.03.2021 - 22.03.2021
By
Janis Oliver Lutz, Ausstellungen, Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt

The Jewish Museum Frankfurt is organizing this symposium over a day and a half to contribute to a differentiated discussion on the present situation of Jews and to combine expert discourse with reflections on social and political developments. Given the atmosphere of threat to which Jews in Europe are exposed, the symposium offers a platform for visions that should pave the way for future coexistence and a Jewish future in Europe.

Transitions - The Jewish Diaspora in Europe

The past ten years have seen attacks on Jewish institutions in various European cities, and Jews have been verbally, symbolically and physically attacked with violence. At the same time, in many places, Jews have been increasingly vocal in demanding an accepted role in their home societies. Against this backdrop, the Jewish Museum Frankfurt aims to examine Jewish life in Europe.

The symposium reflects on the paradoxical developments characteristic of the European Jewish diaspora. On the one hand, Jewish life is increasingly at risk while organized membership of Jewish Communities is decreasing across Europe. On the other hand, growing numbers of young Jews are openly articulating their Jewishness, contributing to the increasing visibility of a multitude of Jewish voices across Europe.

What is the relationship between the diversity of contemporary Jewish culture, on the one hand, and the Jewish communities of Europe, on the other? Is Europe a cultural and political space where Jewish life can flourish, as in the United States and Israel, or is the Jewish diaspora on the continent in decline? What conditions must be ensured or established so that Jews can continue leading self-determined lives? And what role do Jewish museums play in this process, and how do their collections reflect the outlined developments?

The Jewish Museum is organizing this symposium over a day and a half to contribute to a differentiated discussion on the present situation of Jews and to combine expert discourse with reflections on social and political developments. Given the atmosphere of threat to which Jews in Europe are exposed, the symposium offers a platform for visions that should pave the way for future coexistence and a Jewish future in Europe.

The symposium will be held exclusively online and mainly in English.

The symposium is sponsored by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” and is part of the program 1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany.

Programm

SUNDAY, March 21, 2021

JEWISH LIFE IN EUROPE TODAY
The diversity of Jewish culture in most of Central and Eastern Europe came to a violent end with the Shoah. Nonetheless, Jewish life began to re-emerge here after 1945. Major French and British cities became centers of a pluralistic Jewish culture. But in some places like Germany and Hungary this only started happening after the year 2000. What is the situation in the different places today? Can Jewish life assert itself within the European diaspora?

3 p.m.: Opening remarks
Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel (Director of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt)

Words of welcome
Dr. Andrea Despot (CEO of the EVZ Foundation)

3.15 p.m.: Vanishing Diaspora – revisited
Prof. em. Bernard Wasserstein (Prof. em. of History, University of Chicago)

Response
Prof. Dr. Michael Brenner (Professor of Jewish History and Culture at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Director of the Center for Israel Studies at American University in Washington, D.C.)

4 p.m.: The Third Pillar of a World Jewish Identity – revisited
Dr. Diana Pinto (historian, Paris)

Response
Prof. Dr. Alfred Bodenheimer (Professor of the History of Jewish Religion and Literature, University of Basel)

4.45 p.m.: Discussion
Chair: Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel

5.30 p.m.: Break

6 p.m.: Video tour of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt

7 p.m.: Transitions - the Jewish Diaspora in Europe
Talk with Prof. Dr. Fania Oz-Salzberger (Professor of History, Haifa
University) and Dr. Doron Rabinovici (writer and historian, Vienna)
Chair: Dr. Ruth Fühner (moderator, author and critic)

MONDAY, March 22, 2021

COLLECTING AND PRESENTING THE PRESENT
Jewish museums in Europe preserve the testimonies of past Jewish life and act in many places as institutions of remembrance of a Jewish culture that no longer exists there as it once did. What is their relationship to contemporary Jewish life in Europe? How do they portray the present and on the basis of what objects? Do they contribute to strengthening Jewish identities?

9 a.m.: Exhibiting Antisemitism and Political Discourse: Reflections from the UK
Joanne Rosenthal (freelance curator, Sheffield)

Collecting Migration – Exhibiting Diversity: Insights from the Jewish Museum Berlin
Dr. Tamar Lewinsky (curator at the Jewish Museum Berlin)

Collecting the Present – Necessities of Digital Collections
Sara Soussan (curator at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt)

Chair: Dr. Eva Atlan (Head of collections at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt)

10.30 a.m.: Break

10.45 a.m.: Discussion on Jewish museums’ relations to the present

Impulse: “The Colossal Mirror”: Jewish Museums Past and Future
Dr. Emily D. Bilski (freelance curator, Jerusalem)

Prof. Dr. Émile Schrijver (General Director of the Jewish Cultural Quarter, Amsterdam), Dr. Hanno Loewy (Director of the Jewish Museum Hohenems), Dr. Zsuzsanna Toronyi (Director of the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives, Budapest), Joanne Rosenthal, Dr. Tamar Lewinsky, Sara Soussan
Chair: Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel

12 - 12.30 p.m.: Break / Professional exchange in Zoom-Meeting (participation via pre-registration: jonathan.guenther@stadt-frankfurt.de) Dr. Eva Atlan

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS AND STATUTORY FRAMEWORKS
Jewish religious practice is premised on the right of unconditional religious freedom. Jewish men and women have repeatedly been deprived of this right in the course of European history. Even today, specific religious practices, particularly kosher slaughter and circumcision, are criticized and restricted in some European countries. What protection does European law offer practicing Jews? Where is this at risk? Which conclusions for a Jewish future in Europe can be drawn from legal debates?

1 p.m.: New Challenges to Freedom of Religion in Europe
Dr. Grégor Puppinck (Director of the European Center for Law and Justice, Strasbourg)

Strategies to Protect Jewish Life in Legal Issues
Yohan Benizri (Secretary-general of the Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jews, Brussels)

2 p.m.: Panel discussion
Nicola Beer (Vice-President of the European Parliament), Dr. Grégor Puppinck, Yohan Benizri, Rabbi Julian-Chaim Soussan (Jewish Community Frankfurt)
Chair: Esther Schapira (journalist, formerly Hessischer Rundfunk)

3 p.m.: Break

THE FUTURE OF THE JEWISH DIASPORA
All over Europe new Jewish voices are speaking out publicly and with growing confidence, articulating a pluralistic and decisively diasporic image of themselves. At the same time, some Jews are reacting to the rise in anti-Jewish hatred by choosing to emigrate. How can we evaluate these contradictory developments with respect to a Jewish future in Europe? Which role do they play for the way individuals see themselves?

3.15 p.m.: Introduction
Prof. Dr. Dr. Michel Friedman (journalist, philosopher, lawyer, and
managing director of the Center for Applied European Studies at
the University of Applied Sciences, Frankfurt)

3.30 p.m.: Panel discussion
Laura Cazés (psychologist, Frankfurt), Chajm Guski (blogger, Gelsenkirchen), Yves Kugelmann (journalist, Basel), Dr. Zsófia Kata Vincze (scientist, Budapest), Marc Weitzmann (journalist and writer, Paris)
Moderation: Sara Soussan und Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel

4.45 p.m.: Discussion summary: Prof. Dr. Dr. Michel Friedman

5 p.m.: Parting words / conclusion: Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel

https://www.juedischesmuseum.de/
Editors Information
Published on
03.03.2021
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