In the summer of 2012, there was an intense discussion in Germany about whether the circumcision of boys constitutes bodily harm under the law. Preceding this so-called ‘circumcision debate’ was a decision by Cologne’s district court that criminalized the ritual circumcision of boys. A high point in the debate occurred when a German doctor registered a legal complaint against Rabbi David Goldberg, of Hof, claiming that he was liable for “dangerous personal injury” due to the circumcisions he performed. I spoke with him about the complaint, and about his feelings as well as the reactions that he encountered during that period.
Rabbi David Goldberg © private
Dear Rabbi Goldberg, how did it happen that you were reported?
That’s easy to explain: I’m known in Germany as a circumciser and I’m easy to find through my website. Opponents of circumcision were looking for a sacrificial victim and they found it in me. Because the people who made the complaints against me…
… there were more than one?
Yes, there were a number of them. But the people behind them didn’t even know me. They were simply looking for a scapegoat.
How was it for you during that period?
→ continue reading
Daphna Westerman’s Postcards in Motion
One of Daphna Westerman’s postcards, front view. © Jewish Museum Berlin, Photo: Lisa Albrecht
Did you find a postcard like this one in your mail box as well? Or have you even pulled the entire road movie by Daphna Westerman out of our Art Vending Machine? By now the Machine is sold out completely. But no need to stop the movie! Let’s just rewind a little…
Before the work of the Israeli artist ended up in the museum’s Art Vending Machine, I received a postcard with a black and white photograph. Except for my address and the title, “U-Bahn Berlin. From In and between the cities, 2011. A film by Daphna Westerman,” there was nothing more to it. A few days later more cards were in the mail. Time to phone Daphna. → continue reading
Portrait of Ruthe Zuntz © Ruthe Zuntz
Less than three months after our art vending machine was filled with another 1,400 commissioned art objects, it has sold out. Visitors to the museum might have pulled a picture by Ruthe Zuntz from the machine. Pieces from her “PHOTOMAT: Challenging WallMAT” series, as the photographer entitled her square Dibond aluminum prints which cover ten different motifs, could be sparkling in many new households – like Ruthe herself whom I recently met.
Ruthe, you’re actually known for large, space-filling installations. And yet, for the art vending machine you produced a series of small photo prints. How did that happen?
I found the project really exciting because it matches one of my basic philosophies: → continue reading