Since 2010 the AEJM offers a curatorial professional development programme for curators working at Jewish museums or with Jewish collections in Europe. The Advanced Curatorial Education Programme is an intensive 5-day course that offers both theoretical and practical learning through lectures, hands-on workshops and field trips. The A-CEP is organized twice per year by Programme Director Dr Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, assisted by Dr Michaela Feurstein-Prasser, and the AEJM.
The background of this initiative is on the one hand that in many Jewish museums the knowledge about their own Judaica collections – ritual objects, prints and manuscripts, as well as other material and intangible Jewish cultural goods – is very limited and that there is often a lack of scientific bases, which are an essential condition for research, preservation and conveyance of these collections and objects. On the other hand no educational courses that answer to the needs of Jewish museums and their specific collections are offered in Europe. In addition, Jewish art and the history of material Jewish cultural heritage are, with a few exceptions, not taught at European universities.
The AEJM aims at taking appropriate measures to protect against research on Judaica objects stagnating, and to ensure that both the knowledge of the history, meaning and significance of Judaica, and Jewish and transcultural heritage is not increasingly being lost. The main focus of the training is on the correct identification, interpretation and documentation of Judaica objects of any geographical-cultural and temporal origin.
The work on material objects forms the crucial basis of the seminar. Hence, the further training courses first and foremost took place on locations where there are Jewish museums and where there are relevant collections that can be used as educational and illustrative material. The previous editions were organized in cooperation with hosting partners Jewish Museum Venice (A-CEP 2017), Izmir Jewish Community (A-CEP 2017), the State Museum of the History of Religion, the Centre “Petersburg Judaica” and the Russian Museum of Ethnography in Saint Petersburg (A-CEP 2016), the Hungarian Jewish Museum & Archives in Budapest (A-CEP 2015) Jewish Museum London (A-CEP 2015), the Jewish Museum Berlin (A-CEP 2014 and CEP 2011), the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam (A-CEP 2014), the Jewish Museum Munich (CEP 2013), the Jewish Museum Frankfurt (CEP 2012), and the Jewish Museum Vienna (CEP 2010).
The AEJM Advanced Curatorial Education Programme is a joint project of AEJM and the Jewish Museum Berlin and is kindly supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.