Jewish Museums of the World
by Grace Cohen Grossman

The only book that presents the breadth of existing Jewish museums

cover image Since the beginning of the Diaspora, almost two thousand years ago, Jews have been wandering, all the while influencing and being influenced by the communities where they have settled. This active exchange resulted in a tremendously rich variety in even the simplest of traditional and ceremonial objects. Today, hundreds of museums around the world share in the responsibility of protecting and celebrating the beauty, variety, and tradition of the Jewish way of life and the Judaic objects that the worldwide Jewish community has generated.

Nineteenth-century Jewish museums sought to engage a non-Jewish audience, hoping that the objective study of Jewish customs would diminish the age-old negative stereotypes of the Jewish people. The twentieth century has seen the establishment of museums that celebrate the importance and the depth of Jewish history for Jews and non-Jews alike. With the decimation of the eastern European Jewish population as a result of the Holocaust, one of the first Jewish museums was created in Germany and, although meant to be a museum of an extinct people, the Germans amassed the greatest single collection of Judaica yet in existence. Today, Jewish museums in Central and Eastern Europe are creating their exhibitions and programs in places where there are few remnants of the once-thriving communities. In America, the Jewish museum mission finds the links to the rich, vibrant history of Jewish life in America and elsewhere. Jewish Museums of the World celebrates more than 150 Jewish museums across the globe whose collections are as diverse as the cultures in which they are situated.

This large format book, with approximately 300 color illustrations, features the prize collections of the diverse Jewish museums around the world, whose scope spans ceremonial to fine arts to history. An engaging text by the noted scholar, and curator of the Skirball Cultural Center Museum in Los Angeles, Dr. Grace Cohen Grossman, describes the history of each of the collections, and talks about their core collections. A directory of all the museums contained in the book, including phone, fax, e-mail, and web sites, makes this book as useful as it is beautiful.

10 3/4 x 14 in., 416 pages
343 color illustrations,
108 black and white
ISBN: 0-88363-980-7
$75.00 U.S.

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