Das Bild zeigt eine Zeichnung in grau-braunen Tönen, die eine Silhouette von New York in Flammen zeigt. Die Künstlerin heißt Anita Steckel.

Anita Steckel, NY Skyline on Canvas #5 (Eat Your Power, Honey, Before It Grows Cold), USA, ca. 1970–1972; Jewish Museum Berlin

JMB Book Club – Portnoy’s Fear of Flying

Part of the exhibition Sex: Jewish Positions (in German)

“This book will make literary history.” – Henry Miller on “Fear of Flying”

“The most outrageously funny book about sex yet written.” – The Guardian on “Portnoy’s Complaint”

Read along!

For the exhibition Sex: Jewish Positions, the JMB book club first looked at the Song of Songs. It now turns to two books that revolutionized perspectives on sex – and not just Jewish ones: Sexual desire, psychoanalysis and grappling with tradition are at the heart of both Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth (1969) and Fear of Flying by Erica Jong (1973). Both were considered shocking and outrageous in their day, but what do they tell us now, 50 years later, about sexual obsession and liberation, about rule-breaking and conformity?

Wed 24 Jul 2024, 6:30 pm

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green


W. M. Blumenthal Academy, Library
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin 
Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin

In conversation with author Dana von Suffrin, we rediscover the grand old man of American literature and the outspoken feminist.

Note: Both books are available for delivery and from the JMB Museum shop. And, as if we ourselves had arranged it, a new German translation of Fear of Flying was published on June 25, 2024 by the publishing house ECCO Verlag.

Colorful photo collage of art objects from the exhibition.

Sex: Jewish Positions: Features & Programme

Exhibition Webpage
Sex: Jewish Positions: Exhibition, 17 May to 6 Oct 2024
Accompanying Events
The Song of Songs – Between Innocence and Audacity: Lecture by Ilana Pardes, 4 Jun 2024
From Orthodox to Queer: SEX – Jewish Positions in Film, 23 Jun 2024
Let’s read! The Song of Songs: JMB Bookclub, 26 Jun 2024, in German
Let’s read! Portnoy’s Fear of Flying: JMB Bookclub, 24 Jul 2024, in German
Holy Rebel­lion: Feminist and Queer Approaches to Halacha: Lecture and discussion with Ronit Irshai and Avigail Ben Dor Niv, 19 Sep 2024
Sex. Jüdische Positionen: Catalog accompanying the exhibition, German edition, 2024
Sex: Jewish Positions: Catalog accompanying the exhibition, English edition, 2024
Digital Content
Letʼs Talk About Sex: Online feature accompanying the exhibition
What do the artists say? Interview series accompanying the exhibition
Listen to the exhibition’s soundtrack: Playlist on Spotify
The Song of Songs. Between Literal and Allegorical Loves: Essay by Ilana Pardes
“Sex Is A Force:” Interview with Talli Rosenbaum
Androgynous Characters in I.B. Singer’s Literary Shtetl: Essay by Helena Lutz
Jewish Places: Find information about Jewish sites related to the exhibition on our interactive map
Tours & Workshops
Public tour: Tour with fixed dates, in German
Public tour: Tour with fixed dates
Public tour: Tour with fixed dates, in Hebrew
Bookable tours: Tours for groups
Sex: Jewish Positions at the JMB library: Public guided tour through the museum’s library
Hey you! Flirting without Sexism: Workshop for students with drama-pedagogical elements on the exhibition
Duty and Pleasure: Workshop for adults
See also
Jüdisches Film Festival Berlin | Brandenburg: Film series in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Berlin

Where, when, what?

  • WhenWed 24 Jul 2024, 6:30 pm
  • Duration2 hours
  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy, Library
    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
    See location on map
  • Entry fee

    6 € (reduced rate 3 €)
    Reserve Online Ticket

  • Please note
    The event will be held in German.

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