Intervention in the permanent exhibition
The non-Jewish majority in society looks upon Jews with certain expectations, certain preconceived notions of what is Jewish and what is not. These are projections, directed at the minority by the majority, and they take many forms, whether it be the role of religion and tradition, the relationship between Judaism and Israel, or appearance and dress.
Projections of this kind are often clichés, sometimes prejudices or exaggerations, and always overgeneralizations and categorizations. The exhibition intervention “Jews through the Eyes of Others” examines these attributions and asks the question: what role do Jewish museums play in perpetuating such projections?
The show presents five display cases of objects from the museum collection, each dedicated to one facet of how Jews are perceived by others: the association of Judaism and Israel, the cliché of authentic Eastern European Judaism, the nuances between anti-Semitism and caricature, the world of Jewish identity shopping and the definition of Jewishness itself.
Jewish identity is currently a topic of considerable debate. “Jews through the Eyes of Others” shines a light on this discussion from the perspective of Jewish museums, inviting visitors to reflect on the power of prejudice.