Photo: Shaul Golan
Beth Hatefutsoth
Photo: Shaul Golan
Chairman Leonid Nevzlin. 'Innovative museum'

1st 'Museum of Jewish people' to open in Tel Aviv

New museum will be first in world to tell story of Jewish people and largest experiential museum in Israel. Estimated cost of building new institution is $25 million

The world’s first museum to tell the story of the Jewish People will open to local and international visitors in Tel Aviv in 2012. The $25 million project was announced in Tel Aviv on Thursday at a meeting of the International Board of Governors of Beth Hatefutsoth, by its chairman, Leonid Nevzlin.


According to Nevzlin, the 16,000 square meter (1,222 square feet) museum will house a new permanent exhibition covering an area of 4,200 square meters (45,208 square feet), spread out over three floors.


The exhibition will be constructed in Beth Hatefutsoth’s Nahum Goldmann building on the Tel Aviv University campus, which will be entirely rebuilt for the new exhibition.


The new museum project is financed by the Government of Israel, the Claims Conference, the NADAV Fund and other international donors, and is the culmination of a comprehensive renewal process undertaken by Beth Hatefutsoth in recent years, with the support of the NADAV Fund established by Leonid Nevzlin.


Teams of architects, consultants, historians and academic advisors from Israel and abroad have already begun the planning and design of the new museum.


“This innovative museum is the first of its kind, and will be built on a scale never seen before in Israel” said Leonid Nevzlin, chairman of Beth Hatefutsoth’s International Board of Governors and the initiator and the leading force behind the project.


“Its purpose is to convey the unique and ongoing story of the Jewish People, while giving expression to a new perception about the relationship between the Jewish People and the State of Israel – the perception of one Jewish People, incorporating Jews living in Israel or any other place in the world. For this reason we decided to change the name from ‘the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora’ to the ‘Museum of the Jewish People’,” he noted.


Sense of belonging and connection

The preliminary concept developed by the curator Dr. Orit Shaham-Gover was presented Thursday to the Board of Governors of Beth Hatefutsoth. According to the plans, the new museum will take its visitors on a fascinating journey where they will discover, understand and experience the unique story of the Jewish People and attempt to solve the mystery of its existence and remarkable survival.


The aim of the interactive exhibition is to inspire in visitors a sense of belonging and connection to the overall Jewish story through a variety of narrative threads such as the unity and diversity of the Jewish People; the Jewish world in modern times; the cultural influence of non-Jewish surroundings and the Jews’ interaction with it; the place of women in Jewish life; and the special significance of the land of Israel and the State of Israel for the Jewish People.


According to Avinoam Armoni, CEO of Beth Hatefutsoth, the exhibition in the new museum is designed to draw on the many voices and faces of Jewish culture across all eras, and it will be pluralistic and modern, giving due representation to all communities, streams and groups comprising the Jewish People.


“This will be the biggest experiential and interactive museum in Israel. The core of the experience will be the dialogue with the visitor, who we see as not only a spectator but as an active participant and contributor to the museum's narrative. The goal is to inspire visitors to contemplate their future as individuals within the Jewish collective.”


פרסום ראשון: 06.27.09, 08:48
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