Jewish Commemorations in Germany in 2022

Augsburg, Bavaria: The Jewish Museum in Augsburg shows two exhibitions reflecting on Jewish life in the city. The exhibition “Jews through the Eyes of Others” (until September 4, 2022) questions clichés, prejudices, exaggerations, generalizations, and categorizations and asks the question: what role do Jewish museums play in perpetuating such projections? The exhibition “The End of the Testimony” (until June 5, 2022) focuses on memories of contemporary witnesses, and the question of how to maintain statements of oral history for the next generations. It shows written testimonies and video interviews of contemporary witnesses and focuses on the question of how we want to deal with this legacy in the future. Berlin: The New Synagogue which opened in 1866 is today the home of the Centrum Judaicum, which sees itself as a link between the past and the future. It serves as a site of research and documentation and brings Berlin’s vibrant Jewish history to life. The exhibitions “Under the wedding sky – weddings in Jewish Berlin” and “Telling Jewish Berlin. Mine, yours, ours?” (until June 12, 2022) unfold a mosaic of stories, experiences, and emotions, revolving around individual perspectives and personal relationships. The 28th Jewish Film Festival Berlin | Brandenburg (JFBB), the largest Jewish film festival in Germany, will take place this year from June 14 to June 19, 2022, in numerous venues in Berlin and Potsdam. The JFBB program aims to enliven political and historical debates, counter anti-Semitism, narrate Jewish themes beyond stereotypes, and offer points of contact for the audience. On the program are feature films, documentaries, retrospectives, international films of all genres, high-end TV series, (contemporary witness) talks, and panel discussions. Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia: On December 29, 2021, the Gürzenich Choir presents the concert “Georg Friedrich Handel: “Saul”, Oratorio for solos, choir and orchestra” (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST). Georg Friedrich Handel’s colorful oratorio “Saul” tells the royal drama of the first kings of Israel, and the struggle for rule over the Israeli people. Dresden, Saxony: In Dresden, the exhibit “Rethinking City History: Perspectives on Jewish Stories and Present Lifes” (until March 31, 2022) retraces the complex Jewish life in the capital of Saxony. Until today, objects of the Jewish past can be found in living rooms, basements, or garages, finding a new place within the exhibition. Guided tours, a blog series and a YouTube video provide a deeper insight into the project. Frankfurt, Hesse: The Jewish Museum Frankfurt is showing “Our Courage – Jews in Europe 1945-48” (until January 18, 2022). The exhibition is the first project of its kind to present the diversity of Jewish experience in the early post-war period from a pan-European, transnational perspective. The program is available for download hereFreiburg, Baden-Württemberg: On January 7, 2022, the public reading “His memory as a blessing – Jewish biographies in Freiburg” (12:30 EST – 3:00 EST) takes a literary look at the people and stories associated with the city’s Jewish history. The Freiburg Israelite Community offers religious courses for all age groups, a wide range of cultural activities, and tours of the synagogue. Jena, Thuringia: On January 19, 2022, the panel discussion “Jewish life in Germany: aspired to, achieved or lost ‘normality’?” (12:00 pm – 2:00 pm EST) is a project of the theological faculties in Erfurt and Jena, which examine the diverse relationships between Jews and Christians. In Thuringia, Jewish life traces back 900 years. During this time, there were many relationships between Judaism and Christianity, and there is still a lively dialogue until today. Reason enough to analyze the status of current mutual relationships: where are we standing? What are the living conditions like? Is there a ‘normality’?”

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