The New Core Exhibition
Beit Hatfutsot is undergoing a comprehensive, multi-year program of renewal which will culminate with the opening of the new museum in 2015. This renewal program reflects essential changes in Jewish and Israeli culture and society, as well as world-wide advances in museum technology. The new museum will present Jewish history from biblical times to the present with an increased emphasis on contemporary Jewish life and modern expressions of Jewish identity.
The new Museum of the Jewish People will take visitors on a fascinating journey in which they will experience, discover and understand the unique story and world of the Jewish people, while they attempt to solve the mystery of its ongoing fascinating and wonderful existence. For the Jewish visitor, the exhibition will inspire a sense of belonging and identification with the Jewish people and allow him/her to connect their personal narrative to the shared Jewish story. For the non-Jewish visitor, the exhibit will generate interest and empathy with the story of the Jewish people. Over the coming months, visit this page for updates as the planning progresses.
Patrick Gallagher, President and Founder of Gallagher & Associates, a leading international professional design firm, has been chosen by Beit Hatfutsot's Board of Directors and International Steering Committee to lead the planning and the renovation of Beit Hatfutsot's core exhibition covering approximately 4,000 square meters (45,000 square feet). The renowned firm specializes in creating highly successful visitor experiences through museum master planning and interpretive planning, exhibition design and media programming and development.
The new exhibition will be marked by three central themes:
1. The unique and ongoing story of the Jewish People- The Narrative: the journey of the Jewish people as a nation among nations; the world of faith and rich creativity of the Jewish people; the Jewish lifecycle, all anchored in ancient texts and sources.
2. Jewish Peoplehood- Identity: the varied and unique connections by which Jews from around the world are transformed into a people; the diverse religious and cultural streams that exist today; as well as the wide array of individual expressions Jews formulate in order to integrate their Judaism within an open society.
3. This story is yours/ you are a part of the story- Participation: an arena where the voice of the visitor is heard; their unique experiences and learning are encouraged and legitimized. This theme ties together the entire exhibit.
The visitor's journey begins on the third floor with an encounter with the vibrant and diverse Jewish world today. Here the idea of Jewish peoplehood is presented along with the rich Jewish culture of modern times and the contributions Jews have made to global culture. The encounter with the Jewish story of today allows for a direct and immediate connection between the exhibit and the visitor since the visitor is realistically confronted with relevant questions regarding personal identity.
From "Our Story Today" on the third floor, the visitors continue to the second floor where they find an exhibit on Jewish history- here they are invited to learn about the Jewish Diaspora from the days of the destruction of the second temple through today. The exhibit highlights the central locations of Jewish life and activity in every time period as well as the span and diversity of Jewish faith and creativity. Of note is the interaction between the Jewish community and the society in which it lived; its influence on the host society and vice versa. In the context of massive change in modern times, the visitor is invited to experience, along with the Jews, the major crossroad in the history of the Jewish people: emancipation and enlightenment. Here they will experience the fateful choices made by Jews throughout time regarding immigration, integration, assimilation, the maintenance of tradition and nationality.
Whoever is interested in learning about the ancient roots of the Jewish people and to understand the very beginning of the story is invited to visit the first floor- there they will gain an understanding regarding the birth of the Jewish people and its independent existence in the Land of Israel; a story which weaves a thread between the Jewish life cycle, the Jewish calendar as well as basic Jewish traditions which serve to characterize each Jew in ancient times through today.
The Jewish story is dotted with many dilemmas and times in which the Jews found themselves at the crossroads; in which important decisions had to be made. The exhibit clarifies the "conflicts of the hour" and allows the visitor to partake in these debates along with the Jewish people in that moment in history, as well as addressing questions which face the Jewish people today.