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JMB repositions itself with a new Director of Education & Digital Engagement

Press Release, Tue 11 Jun 2024

The Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB), Hetty Berg, continues to restructure the institution, creating an even stronger focus on the museum’s audience. On 15 June 2024, Barbara Thiele takes up the new position of Director of Education & Digital Engagement, a step that underlines once more how seriously the JMB takes two great challenges of our era: public engagement and digital transformation. 


Dr. Margret Karsch
Press Officer
T +49 (0)30 259 93 419


Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation
Lindenstraße 9–14
10969 Berlin

Hetty Berg emphasizes the centrality to the JMB’s mission of education in the widest sense: “From the very beginning, the JMB placed enormous value on its educational programs. We aim to make the JMB the most important platform in both the analog and the digital space for Jewish culture past and present, and to reach audiences all across the world. Even more than before, we want to address the younger generations. This appointment means we have a person within the management who can take a synoptic view of the spectrum of education and digital opportunities while also thinking strategically about our educational mission and all areas of the museum’s work,” Hetty Berg continues. “Barbara Thiele has already driven forward the digital transformation of the museum to a crucial extent – and her specialist expertise makes her exactly the right person for this task.”

Barbara Thiele will be responsible for the program-related areas Academy, Education, Digital & Publishing, and the Children’s World ANOHA, along with two mainly organizational areas, Events Management and Visitor Experience & Research (VE&R). One aim of the restructuring is to create new connections by placing these content domains and the two organizational areas under a single director. 

Ms. Thiele joins the Director of Collections & Exhibitions, Dr. Julia Friedrich, and the Managing Director, Lars Bahners, on the second level of management. After more than twenty years as Organizational Director, Bülent Durmuş left the JMB in March to become commercial director of the AIM agency for international museum cooperation.

Organizational chart, Jewish Museum Berlin (June 2024)

Download (PDF / 267.38 KB / in English / not accessible)

In future, the JMB’s public programs will interweave digital and analog services more closely. In Barbara Thiele’s view, it is especially important to engage with different visitor groups on their own terms: “At a time when crises are intensifying and we are losing more and more historical eyewitnesses, I want to amplify the JMB’s relevance within society. For that to happen, we need to offer a multitude of perspectives and a welcoming route in for everybody,” she says. The resulting sense of having a stake in culture, Ms. Thiele points out, can also help to counter growing antisemitism. “Which content the JMB identifies and communicates, which formats it chooses and how it dovetails analog with digital formats, how it opens up access for new target groups, how it presents its collections online – all of this needs to be revisited and updated again and again to make the visitor experience on-site and online ever more inviting.”

In the past eight years, Barbara Thiele headed the Digital & Publishing department at the JMB and led the museum’s digital transformation process. From 2008 to 2015 she helped to establish the print-on-demand and self-publishing platform epubli. By the end of her time at epubli, she was the managing director, heading a team of thirty people in the areas of product, IT, marketing, press, and author support.

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