This workshop aims to establish the Jewish country house both as a focus for scholarly research and as a site of European memory. By focusing on a hitherto unidentified group of country houses – those that were owned, renewed and sometimes built by Jews – we aim to establish the importance of Jewish country houses like Port Lympne Mansion, Schloss Freienwalde, Villa Kerylos and Castello Sonnino as variations of a pan-European phenomenon deserving serious consideration from an academic and a heritage viewpoint.
Jewish country houses have so far escaped systematic study because they do not fit existing paradigms either in modern Jewish history or country house studies. The historiography of European Jewish elites has tended to focus on the grande bourgeoisie in its urban setting and does not consider the role families like the Bischoffsheims, the Bleichröders, the Péreires and the Sonninos assumed through their rural estates, nor the role of Jewish country houses in the self-fashioning of many leading Jewish figures such as Benjamin Disraeli, Ferdinand de Rothschild and Philip Sassoon in the UK, Leopoldo Franchetti in Italy, Walter Rathenau in Germany, and Théodor Reinach in France. Conversely, the literature on country houses, which typically focuses on the landed aristocracy, has paid little or no attention to the existence of country houses and rural estates in Jewish hands, or to the particular challenges this posed in a rural landscape and social context so powerfully shaped by Christianity.
Lecture by Geoffrey Feld.
Formal official rededication of the art nouveau synagogue in Subotica, Serbia, following its full restoration.
The ceremony will be attended by the Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and President Aleksander Vučić of Serbia, as well as other dignitaries.
The Jewish community plans a second ceremony in April, which will have a religious service and the formal return of Torah scrolls to the ark.
Opening of extraordinary exhibition, for the first time in decades, of the collection, including the pre-WW2 collection of Maximilian Goldstein.
A training day for those working as guides. The program will introduce the important work of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland and provide valuable information about restoration and visits to the Zamość synagogue, the history of the prewar Jewish community, and how the synagogue and its resources and equipment can be useful to guides and visitors. Participation in the training is free, but registration is requested, as the space is limited:
By e-mail: email@example.com
Rudolf Klein will present an overview of his newly published book Synagogues in Hungary 1782-1918. It is the first study on synagogues of Habsburg Hungary and one of the most comprehensive works addressing the question of synagogue architecture in the Diaspora, tackling religious and social aspects, formal determinants, urban context and the art historic significance.
Synagogues are viewed as a pivotal element of Jewish communal life, a building type that after Emancipation highlighted Jewish identity and Jewish success in the economy and culture in the host nations. Assimilating to the culture of 19th century nation-states and empires offered Jews the chance to terminate their isolation from the gentile world and to cast anchor into modern societies.
Hundreds of synagogues played the architectural role of these anchors. Domes and turrets rendered synagogues as landmarks in the villages, towns and cities of Habsburg Hungary and its successor states until the Holocaust, reinforcing Jewish presence in architectural-urban form. Ironically, many of these landmarks have survived, but the original intention failed: they no longer bear witness to Jewish existence.
This book surveys several hundred synagogues, existing or demolished, built from the 1760s to World War I and analyzes their architectural features and evolution. It also presents a typology of synagogues and their urban location. The book offers rich visual material about the present condition of existing synagogues, testifying a vanished culture in the heart of Europe.
The next edition of the Advanced Curatorial Education Programme will take place in Frankfurt (DE) in April 2018. The programme will have a special focus on Judaica collections that were created in the second half of the 19th century and up until the 1930s as the result of a growing interest in arts and crafts on the one hand, and on the other hand because of the founding of Jewish museums or departments in municipal museums a new collection area (Judaica) came into being.
The A-CEP Frankfurt 2018 is open for staff members from Association of European Jewish Museum member institutions who work with historical Judaica collections.
Registration is required. Find details here: http://www.aejm.org/curatorial/a-cep/
Lecture by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
What comes first? The collection or the story? What is the story the collection tells, and can the story the museum wants to tell be told through the collection? Given the politics of history and historical policies in Europe today, Jewish museums have a special role to play. Prague, Budapest, London, Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Moscow, Vienna – Jewish museums in these and other European cities have taken different approaches. Their strategies reflect not only the history of the institution and its collection, but above all new understandings of the story to be told, who it is for, and how to create experiences that are memorable, emotional, and thought provoking.