Cultural program at the Jewish Museum Berlin in August 2015

Press Information

Press Release, 28 July 2015

We herewith invite you cordially to the cultural program at the Jewish Museum Berlin in August 2015.

22 May - 13 September
Special Exhibition

Obedience. An installation in 15 rooms by Saskia Boddeke & Peter Greenaway

The story of forefather Abraham, who is willing to obey God's command and sacrifice his son, is one of the strangest and most puzzling passages of the Bible. In the three monotheistic religions, it is among the most significant and most popular stories and among the first that were ever depicted. The text that is handed down in Judaism as the "Binding of Isaac" to this day still raises questions that are answered differently by the three religions. British film director Peter Greenaway and multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke understand the sacrifice of Isaac as a human drama. Which is stronger – God's command or the love of a father? And where can the modern subject be found between the priorities of obedience and trust? Taking these questions as their starting point, Boddeke and Greenaway have developed a coherent artistic scenario that approaches the biblical narrative subjectively, deconstructs it, and refocuses the constituent parts to create an emotionally tangible scenario. The result is a multimedia exhibition – using film projections, installations, precious objects, and its own soundtrack, the biblical narrative is staged as a sensuous and emotional showpiece in fifteen parts. Its dramaturgy is inspired by the legends of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, and linked with the experience of our time.
Location: Old Building, first level
Opening Hours: Mon 10 am-10 pm, Tue-Sun 10 am - 8 pm
Admission: with the museum ticket (8 euros, reduced 3 euros)

Katharina Schmidt-Narischkin
Senior Press Officer
+49 (0)30 259 93 419
+49 (0)30 259 93 400

Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation
Lindenstraße 9–14
10969 Berlin

1 August
Words in the Garden

SOCALLED solo (Rap and Funk from Canada)

Some will know Josh Dolgin from his bands "SOCALLED" and "Abraham Inc" and others as the father of klezmer hip hop. Others still claim he is a pianist, singer, arranger, and producer. They are all right. Socalled is a multi-talent that crosses genre boundaries, notorious for its intense audience involvement. For his albums – four so far – he has worked with greats of funk, hip hop, and classical music such as David Krakauer, rapper Killah Priest, trumpeter Frank London, and pianist Irving Fields. Socalled has put together an exclusive solo program for the Jewish Museum's summer of cultures.
Location: Museum Garden
Time: 6-8 pm
Admission: free

3 August
Movie screening (on the occasion of the European Maccabi Games 2015)

France/Israel/USA 2004, directed by Yaron Zilberman, 80 min, Original English version

Taking its name from the Hebrew word for strength, the Hakoah Vienna sports club produced a host of talented female swimmers, who thrived in opposition to anti-Semitic trends that began to color Austrian society in the early 20th century. The club was a casualty of Hitler's rise to power in the 1930s, but several of the women who were team members went on to live long, colorful lives. Now senior citizens, they're reunited in this documentary about sports, survival and bravery.
Location: Old Building, ground level, Auditorium
Time: 7.30 pm
Admission: free
Bookings are requested on: Tel: +49 (0)30 25 993 488 or

4 August
Talk by Detlev Claussen (in German) (on the occasion of the European Maccabi Games 2015)

Béla Guttmann – Weltgeschichte des Fußballs in einer Person (The World History of Football in one Person)

The best football players of the post-war period – whether Puskas, di Stefano, Eusebio, Pelé or Uwe Seeler – all crossed paths with one man who shaped modern attacking football like no other: Béla Guttmann. He was a Hungarian Jew and one of the most successful football coaches of all time, winning the European Cup with Benfica in 1961 and 1962. Through the story of this wanderer between the football worlds of Europe and America, Adorno biographer Detlev Claussen has written a special piece on cultural and sporting history.
Location: Old Building, ground level, Auditorium
Time: 7 pm
Admission: free
Bookings are requested on: Tel: +49 (0)30 25 993 488 or

9 August
Jazz in the Garden

Mohammad Reza Mortazavi & Hans Hartmann (Transcendental Jazz)

Mohammad Reza Mortazavi, who emigrated from Iran, is one of the world’s best tombak players. Mortazavi has developed new finger techniques and revolutionized the traditional method of playing this classical instrument – not always to the delight of his conservative teachers. His dense soundscapes are reminiscent of epic film music or the sound of a fully-equipped studio. With his free improvisation, Mortazavi tears down the barriers between musical cultures and traditions as if they had never existed. In the summer of cultures, he will perform with another exceptional musician – Hans Hartmann plays several stringed instruments with virtuosity, among them the bass and the Chapman Stick.
Location: Museum Garden
Time: 11 am-1 pm
Admission: free

23 August
Jazz in the Garden

Cyminology (Chamber Jazz)

The Berlin jazz quartet Cyminology combines Persian verse with contemporary jazz. This subtly pulsating dynamic music embraces East and West, old and new, experimenting with the sound of the Persian language. In her pieces, the singer and composer Cymin Samawatie unites classical music with free improvisation, modern compositional structures, and Bossa Nova. She is accompanied by Benedikt Jahnel on the piano, Ralf Schwarz on the bass, and Ketan Bhatti on drums and percussion. Cyminology presents “Phoenix,” its third album which was released in February.
Location: Museum Garden
Time: 11 am-1 pm
Admission: free

29 August
Long Museum Night

Angel, devil, sheep – Long Museum Night at the Jewish Museum Berlin provides unusual insight into the spectacular special exhibition “Obedience” by Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway: Rabbi, Imam, and Pastor can be found in the exhibition’s installations to discuss topics such as “victim,” “Satan,” “God & Angels,” “father & son” from their respective religious perspectives. Express tours through the museum present favorite pieces, a look behind the scenes, and the museum garden at night.
Time: 6 pm-2 am
Admission: with the Long Museum Night ticket (available at the cash desk)

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