“Jerusalem is like a former boyfriend“

Interview with Dalia Castel and Orit Nahmias

Dalia and Orit are sitting on a couch

Dalia Castel and Orit Nahmias prepared for the interview by sitting on the sofa to watch Jerusalem for Cowards together; photo: private

Dalia Castel is a filmmaker, Orit Nahmias an actress at Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theatre. Both grew up in Jerusalem – they are childhood friends and their paths have crossed on numerous occasions. Today, they both live in Berlin. When asked why they made a documentary about their hometown, they  finish each other’s sentence: “We had questions, …” Orit begins to explain, “… about Jerusalem,” Dalia adds. They turned their questions into a very personal documentary: Jerusalem for Cowards (2011). The film will be screened at the Jewish Museum Berlin on February 19th, and the screening will be followed by a discussion.  continue reading

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For Love of the Catalogs

A conversation with art historian, rabbi, and literature collector Edward van Voolen, drs.

For three and a half years now, the art historian and rabbi Edward van Voolen has supported the DFG project. With his help, our library has developed into a research library for Jewish art, through generous gifts from his private collection. It now includes over 500 publications in the fields of Jewish art and material culture.

Edward van Voolen; photo: private

For 35 years, Mr. van Voolen was a curator at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. He is now a rabbi in Germany. Since 2003, he has taught at the Abraham Geiger College at the University of Potsdam, publishing regularly on topics related to Jewish religion, art, and history.

Lea Weik asked him a few questions about his passion for collecting, and about his considerable donation.

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Complex, interwoven, and emotional

Experts discuss political adult education on the Middle East conflict

Various brochures lie on a table, with titles such as "Where does hatred of Jews come from?"

Many educational providers offer materials for confronting anti-Semitism pedagogically; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Nadja Rentzsch

“Emotional” and “complex” are words often used to describe the Middle East conflict and approaches to it. How should it be handled in the everyday practice of education and continuing education? This is one of the questions in my research project “Didactics of the Middle East Conflict,” which I am conducting as a W. M. Blumenthal Fellow (more about the project on the museum website).

At a university or an institute, generally there is a research colloquium full of people working on similar themes, or who at least come from the same discipline. In such colloquia, one can present new work, discuss initial findings, get feedback about dealing with difficulties, and discover stimulating new ideas. At a museum, people engage with a great variety of topics, but not with empirical research on the didactics of the Middle East conflict. And so on September 8th, I invited external experts on educational work relating to the Middle East conflict, anti-Semitism, and racism to come to the museum. We discussed teaching and learning on this subject with members of the Education Department and the museum’s Academy Programs.  continue reading