Immigrant, Enlightenment philosopher, and self-made intellectual: in his time, Moses Mendelssohn was already a European celebrity and he remains a central figure in German Judaism to this day.
The exhibition tells of Mendelssohn’s life in Berlin and shows him as a figure who integrated polarizing forces in the midst of historical upheaval and awakening.
14 Apr to 11 Sep 2022
Old Building, level 1
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin
With his Christian and Jewish friends, Moses Mendelssohn discussed philosophical and political questions. As an author he challenged his audience to think critically. As an observant Jew, he linked tradition with Enlightenment ideas, and championed secular education and civil equality for his “Jewish nation.” His translation of the Torah made religious knowledge accessible to all.
The exhibition presents the era of the Enlightenment as a laboratory for radical change, in which human rights, freedom of opinion, and the diversity of individual ways of life were articulated and demanded. With his arguments for the emancipation of Jews, rights for minorities, and the separation of religion and the state, Mendelssohn opened paths into modernity—and provoked questions about Jewish identity that persist to this day.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Federal President of Germany, spoke at the opening festivities.
Moderated by Frederek Musall and with a rotating cast of panelists, the Mendelssohn Discourses take Moses Mendelssohn’s writings as a point of departure for discussions of contemporary issues and debates. Each of the three discussion events is devoted to a thematic area: Enlightenment: Fake News, Sentimentality, Reason; Power: Tradition, State, Religion; Media Revolution: The Public Sphere, Celebrity, and the Proliferation of Imagery.
An exhibition of the Jewish Museum Berlin in cooperation with the Mendelssohn Society, Berlin.
With the support of
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Moses Mendelssohn and His Time
A deep dive into themes of the exhibition “We dreamed of nothing but Enlightenment”
Guided Tour Through the Exhibition
Book a tour for your group!
By appointment (in the period 20 Apr to 11 Sep 2022)
Based on a True Story
An interview with the artist Typex on his graphic novel Moishe
JMB Journal 23
Moishe. Six Anecdotes from the Life of Moses Mendelssohn
Graphic novel (with reading sample for download)
Guided Tour for School Groups
Dive into Moses Mendelssohn's journey with your school group (grade 7 to 13)
20 Apr to 11 Sep 2022, by appointment
Events accompanying the exhibition: “We dreamed of nothing but Enlightenment” – Moses Mendelssohn (4)
“We dreamed of nothing but Enlightenment” – Moses Mendelssohn
In panel discussions and guided tours with brunch, we follow Mendelsohn's debates on human rights, aesthetics, and Jewish equality and ask: how enlightened are we today? Here you can find all events during our exhibition on the Enlightenment philosopher.
Sunday Brunch with Mendelssohn
Breakfast with guided tour through the exhibition
Sun, 8 May; Sun, 29 May; Sun, 19 Jun 2022, 11 am each
Public Guided Tours through the Exhibition
(90 minutes, in German)
Sun 12 Jun 2022, 3 pm
Mendelssohn Discourses I: Enlightenment – Fake News, Sentimentality, Reason
Philosophers Carolin Emcke and Hannah Peaceman in conversation with Frederek Musall and the curators Inka Bertz and Thomas Lackmann.
Wed 4 May 2022, 7 pm (video recording available, in German)
“We dreamed of nothing but the Enlightenment”
A discussion on the upcoming exhibition on the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (in-person and in German)
23 Nov 2021, 7 pm