Our Museum’s Organizational Structure and Administration

The Jewish Museum's Old Building in the evening sun, with three flags

About the Organisation

The Jewish Museum Berlin is legally incorporated as a foundation regulated by public law. Consequently, its full official name is the Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation (in German: Stiftung Jüdisches Museum Berlin). The foundation’s mission is to study and present Jewish life in Berlin and Germany and to create a meeting place for the wider community.

As a foundation that is directly under federal government control, the museum is an independent legal entity subject to public law and part of the German federal government’s "indirect public administration." As a result, unlike a private foundation, it is subject to the same rules as other publicly funded bodies. For example, public procurement law applies to all purchases made by the museum.

Financing

The Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation receives an annual grant from the funds of the Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural Affairs and the Media; this covers around three-quarters of its total budget. The remaining funds are raised primarily through donations and ticket sales. We value collaboration with other museums, foundations, research institutions, schools, and nonprofits.

Organizational Chart for the Jewish Museum Berlin

Last updated: April 2017

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History of the Museum (5) Ideas, Debates, Decisions, Inauguration Show all

Ideas, Debates, Decisions, Inauguration

Here is the four-part history of our origins and an accompanying timeline – from the forced closure of the first Jewish Museum in Berlin in 1938, and the original museum’s inspirational influence on our collecting principles, to the renaming of our Academy after our Founding Director W. Michael Blumenthal, in 2016.

How We Came to Be (1971–92)

West Berlin, 1971: the idea emerged for a Jewish Museum to be connected to the Berlin Museum. Finally, in 1992, the cornerstone was laid for the building dedicated to this purpose and designed by Daniel Libeskind.

Controversies and Contradictions (1990s)

In the 1990s, the conflicts between advocates of an independent Jewish museum in Berlin and those who saw it as part of the Berlin Museum continually intensified.

Political Decisions (2001)

The appointment of W. Michael Blumenthal as Museum Director and the transfer of the seat of government to Berlin eventually led to an independent Jewish Museum Berlin, which opened on 9 September 2001.

Since the Museum Opened (2001–Present)

With its exhibitions, publications, educational work, and diverse events calendar, our museum developed into a lively forum for reflecting on Jewish history and culture and, more broadly, on migration and social diversity in Germany.

Timeline (1933–2017)

An overview in dates:
From the opening of the first Jewish Museum in Berlin in 1933 to the arrival of Léontine Meijer-van Mensch as the new Program Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin on 1 February 2017.