With the opening of the W. Michael Blumenthal Academy in 2012, the Museum expanded its activities to address questions of migration and diversity as well as Jewish-Islamic relations. The Academy's multifaceted programs of lectures, conferences, workshops, and panel discussions provide a platform to discuss highly relevant, sociopolitical themes.
In line with the Museum's mandate to engage with the history and culture of the Jewish minority in Germany, the Academy also seeks out new perspectives on other religious and ethnic minorities. In this way, the Academy both explores the relationships between minority groups and the majority society and promotes exchange and network-building among minorities.
Program on Migration and Diversity
Though Germany is home to immigrants from 194 countries, it has only recently begun to view itself as a country of immigration. In this regard, Germany is quite different from countries, like the U.S. and Canada, whose longtime engagement with immigration has given them wide experience in dealing with inequality and discrimination. The Program on Migration and Diversity is particularly concerned with finding ways to apply that experience to the German context. Toward this end, the Academy gives experts the opportunity to exchange ideas on innovative approaches to migration research and offers them a platform to present their new perspectives to a wider public.
Understanding the history of migration to Germany is another priority for the Program on Migration and Diversity. How did migrants come to both West and East Germany? What living conditions did they find? What were their experiences and how did these experiences shape later generations? By raising such questions, the Academy aims to ingrain migration history into the public's historical consciousness.
With its events, the Jewish-Islamic Forum strives to reach both a general audience and professionals in politics and academia. The Forum's focal points are the situations of Jews and Muslims as minorities in Germany and the history of their fluctuating relationship. It pursues questions of philosophy of religion and about religious practice such as the tension between tradition and modernity in both religions.
Additionally, the Forum concerns itself with the impact of the Middle East conflict on German society. In particular, the Forum aims to counteract the dichotomous perception of Judaism and Islam by revealing their commonalities without neglecting the unique attributes of each. The Jewish-Islamic Forum also hosts events that complement the Museum's temporary exhibitions thereby building a bridge between the Academy and the Museum.
Calendar of events
Dr. Yasemin Shooman
Head of the Academy Programs Migration and Diversity
Tel. +49 (0)30 259 93 379
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