26 June 2009

Israel: Diaspora Museum name change set

The world’s first museum to tell the story of the Jewish people will open in Tel Aviv in 2012. The $25 million project was announced in Tel Aviv today at a meeting of the international board of governors of Beth Hatefutsoth, by chair Leonid Nevzlin.

The museum's name will also change from the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora to the Museum of the Jewish People.

He said the 16,000 sq.m. museum will house a new permanent exhibition covering 4,200 sq.m. over three floors. Exhibits will be constructed in Beth Hatefutsoth’s Nahum Goldmann building - on the Tel Aviv University campus - which will be entirely rebuilt.

The project is funded by the Government of Israel, the Claims Conference, the NADAV Fund and other international donors. Teams of architects, consultants, historians and academic advisors from Israel and abroad have begun the planning and design of the new museum.

Said Nevzlin:

This innovative museum is the first of its kind, and will be built on a scale never seen before in Israel. Its purpose is to convey the unique and ongoing story of the Jewish people, while giving expression to a new perception about the relationship between the Jewish people and the State of Israel – the perception of one Jewish people, incorporating Jews living in Israel or any other place in the world.

For this reason we decided to change the name from "the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora" to the "Museum of the Jewish People."
The preliminary concept - developed by curator Dr. Orit Shaham-Gover - was presented today to the Board of Governors of Beth Hatefutsoth.

The new museum will take its visitors on a fascinating journey to discover, understand and experience the unique story of the Jewish people and attempt to solve the mystery of its existence and remarkable survival.

The aim of the interactive exhibition is to inspire in visitors a sense of belonging and connection to the overall Jewish story through a variety of narrative threads such as the unity and diversity of the Jewish people, the Jewish world in modern times, the cultural influence of non-Jewish surroundings and the Jews’ interaction with it, the place of women in Jewish life, and the special significance of the land of Israel and the State of Israel for the Jewish people.
New CEO of Beth Hatefutsoth Avinoam Armoni said the exhibit is designed to draw on the many voices and faces of Jewish culture across all eras, will be pluralistic and modern, and give due representation to all communities, streams and groups comprising the Jewish people.

Said Armoni, this will be the biggest experiential and interactive museum in Israel. The core of the experience will be the dialogue with the visitor, who we see as not only a spectator but as an active participant and contributor to the museum's narrative. The goal is to inspire visitors to contemplate their future as individuals within the Jewish collective.

1 comment:

  1. Shalom dear Schelly,
    Thank you for the article. Could you please add a link to our new site? http://www.bh.org.il/en/default.aspx
    We've added your blog to our links.
    Kind regards,
    Danna Paz Prins, site editor, Beth Hatefutsoth