Ever since a virus began prescribing rules for our private and professional lives, Jewish religious practice has faced many new challenges. If people are not allowed to meet, how is it possible to observe a holiday that is traditionally celebrated in the family? Last year, the Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) called for submissions of photographs and videos documenting the first Passover celebrated during the Corona pandemic. We received wonderful images and projects. But how much change can tradition handle? We have devoted ourselves to this question in the current issue of the JMB Journal.
Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn provided strong impetus for change in the eighteenth century. His life and work are the focus of the current exhibition “We dreamed of nothing but Enlightenment” – Moses Mendelssohn. In an essay on the “Socrates of Berlin,” Yaniv Feller argues that change does not necessarily have to be accompanied by a break with tradition. A completely new approach to Mendelssohn’s life is taken by the artist Typex, who discusses his recently published graphic novel Moische in an interview.
Elad Lapidot, a philosopher of religion, asks what tradition means for modern secular Judaism: is it possible to imagine Judaism without tradition? Michal Friedlander presents her research on objects related to Holocaust remembrance. Brigitte Sion describes how feminism has shaped new rituals since the 1970s. And Debora Antmann discusses her personal connection with Judaism beyond religion. Our new collection director, Julia Friedrich, explains how important it is to let objects tell their own stories.