AEJM Newsletter Archive | 03/2023

For the complete 03/2023 newsletter, click here.

Dear friends of the AEJM,
Dear colleagues,

In this edition of our Newsletter, we want to inform you about the latest news from our Association. The Annual Conference held from June 4 to 6 in Berlin was a resounding success. We had a challenging program with a wide range of interesting topics, and we were thrilled to welcome over 80 participants from all around Europe and beyond. We express our deepest appreciation to the Jewish Museum Berlin, which hosted the conference in cooperation with the New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum Foundation.

Following the conference, the discussions in the plenary sessions, and the many personal conversations, the Board of the AEJM has written a statement containing a positioning and a call for solidarity with those affected by the war in Ukraine. The statement can be read at the bottom of this post.

During our most recent General Meeting at the end of the conference in Berlin, there have been some major changes within the AEJM. Christina Meri, a dedicated board member who had served for a long time, decided to step down from her position on the Board. We would like to take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to Christina for her invaluable contributions throughout the years. On a positive note, we are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to Nisya Isman Allovi, who joins us as a new member of the Board. Nisya is the Director of the Museum of Turkish Jews and will now assume the responsibilities previously held by Christina. We are excited to have you on board, Nisya!

Furthermore, the membership has agreed to revise the Association’s Mission Statement. The updated statement now places a stronger emphasis on our unwavering commitment to combating antisemitism, all forms of discrimination, and the misuse of history for political purposes. We firmly uphold democratic values and aim to actively contribute to promoting a more inclusive and tolerant society. This change underscores our determination to play an active role in fostering an environment of acceptance and understanding.  You can find the new Mission Statement at the bottom of this post.

In light of recent developments within the Jewish Museum London, the Board of AEJM has written a letter to the Board of Trustees of Jewish Museum London expressing its concern about the developments, emphasizing the importance of the continued existence of the Jewish Museum London to the community of Jewish museums in Europe, and expressing its concern about access to and custody of the Museum’s collection.

If you have any questions or inquiries, you are always invited to reach out to Jonathan, AEJMS’s Project Manager, via the following mail address:

Thank you for your continued support!

AEJM Board Statement on the war in Ukraine and our Ukrainian members:

The Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine has led to the destruction of property and places related to the heritage of Ukrainian Jews. The annual conference, hosted by the Jewish Museum Berlin, has raised awareness of this situation with a panel discussion under the title “Jewish Museums and Jewish Cultural Heritage – Status Report and Changing Narratives” which can be seen on the YouTube Account of the Jewish Museum Berlin.

As the Board of the European Association of Jewish Museums [AEJM], we ask our members and colleagues in Ukraine to provide us with information on their present most urgent needs – whether financial, material, or immaterial support. We call on the institutions and individuals affiliated with our community to provide our colleagues in Ukraine with all the assistance they may need. We also encourage individual contact with Ukrainian institutions.

We want to express our solidarity with the attacked Ukrainian people, Ukrainian Jews, and employees of Ukrainian institutions affiliated with the AEJM. We do hope that the war waged in the territory which witnessed enough atrocities over the course of its 20th-century history will soon come to an end.

Our updated Mission Statement:

Since its foundation in 1989, the Association of European Jewish Museums (AEJM) has become a major force in the preservation of Jewish heritage in Europe. AEJM actively promotes professional standards and educational activities that help our members to fulfill their task: to preserve the material and intangible Jewish heritage and to create a productive and meaningful discourse about Jewish culture, tradition, and history.

Our members seek to create bridges between past and present in fields where particularly sensitive matters are at stake. Deeply rooted in European Jewish history, AEJM is an organization for museums that are committed to fighting against antisemitism and discrimination in any form, supporting democratic values, and opposing the political abuse of history.

AEJM encourages the exchange of information and ideas among European Jewish museums. It provides opportunities for professional development and promotes mutual support and cooperation in a wide range of areas.