Who We Are

Who We Are

Since opening its doors in 2001, the Jewish Museums Berlin has joined the ranks of Europe’s leading museums. Its exhibitions and permanent collection, educational activities, and diverse program of events make the museum a vibrant center of reflection on Jewish history and culture as well as about migration and diversity in Germany.

An architectural masterpiece, Daniel Libeskind’s spectacular structure has firmly established itself as one of Berlin’s most recognizable landmarks. The zinc-paneled building is innovative in the connection it creates between the museum’s topics and its architecture. Libeskind has dubbed his design Between the Lines, a title that reflects the tensions of German-Jewish history. Inscribed within the design of the building, the past takes shape along two lines charting various cultural connections and modes of thought: one is straight, but broken into many fragments; the other is winding and open-ended. The intersection of these lines is marked by voids - empty spaces that cut through the entire museum. Rich in symbolism, the museum’s architecture makes German-Jewish history palpable.

The museum’s permanent historical exhibition extends over 3,000 m² and invites visitors to travel through two millennia of German-Jewish history. Its depictions of 14 historical periods from the Middle Ages to the present paint a vivid portrait of Jewish life in Germany. Artistic and everyday objects, photos and letters, interactive displays and media stations together convey the history of Jewish culture and show how tightly Jewish life and German history are interwoven.

Temporary exhibitions on cultural history, contemporary art installations, and special displays – these are a few of the ways in which the museum’s special exhibitions draw on a broad range of themes to complement the permanent historical exhibition.

In November 2012, the Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin opened ceremoniously across the street from the museum. The Academy, built after architect Daniel Libeskind’s design titled Zwischenräume (in-between spaces), is integrated into the hall of the former central flower market. The new location unites, with a total surface of 6.000 square meters, the archives, library and education department under one roof, as well as the newly founded Academy Programs. Since 2013, the Academy Programs broaden the museum’s spectrum to include the debate on new terms and concepts necessary for greater social participation of ethnic and religious minorities in German society today.

An upward view of the Libeskind Building during a sunny day

The museum building in Berlin Kreuzberg, designed by Daniel Libeskind; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jens Ziehe