About the New Core Exhibition
The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot is undergoing a comprehensive renewal process. It began in 2016 with inauguration of the new wing, housing the Alfred H. Moses and Family Synagogue Hall and the Tamar and Milton Maltz Children’s Gallery. In 2019, the renewal process will culminate with the opening of a new 66,000 square feet permanent exhibit.
The new museum will offer an authentic, inclusive and inspiring global Jewish experience for each and every visitor, applying cutting-edge design and technology to showcase a vision of Jewish life that is diverse, accessible and engaging, connecting visitors with a personal sense of their identity, roots and connectedness.
While continuing to showcase the Jewish past — and doing so with more impact, depth and breadth than ever before — the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot will evolve, celebrating the successes and creativity of Jews around the world today, in all fields of modern life, while embracing the diverse ways that Jews can choose to live.
Through this approach, unparalleled in Israel or any other location globally, the museum will serve as a platform for a shared, optimistic Jewish future, connecting modern Israel with global Jewish life, and the voice of each individual with the fate of the collective Jewish people.
The New Museum Team
- Chief Curator: Orit Shaham Gover
- Project Director: Medy Shvide
- Designer: Gallagher & Associates
- Academic Consultant: Prof. Gideon Shimony
- Head of Curatorial Staff: Amitai Ahiman
- Curators: Asaf Galai, Simona Dinepi, Meirav Balas, Micol (Schreiber) Benarroch
- Registrar: Rivka Top Mazeh
- Media Consultant: Avida Livni
- AV Consultant: Adi Peltinov
- Construction: CPM
- Architecture: Mintz Melamed Architects
The Designer - Patrick Gallagher
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.
New Themes for the new Exhibition
The new exhibition will be marked by three central themes:
- The Unique and Ongoing Story of the Jewish People – Narrative: the journey of the Jews as a people among peoples; the world of faith, thought and creativity of the Jewish People and the building blocks of the Jewish way of life.
- Jewish Peoplehood – Identity: the varied and distinctive connections by which Jews from around the world are bonded as a people; the diverse religious and cultural denominations and modes of identity that exist today, as well as the wide array of individual ways in which Jews express their Jewishness.
- You are Part of the Story – Participation: an arena in which the voice of the visitor is heard; his or her unique experiences and connections with Jewish life are explored. This is the unifying theme of the entire exhibition.
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 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 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 facing the Jewish people today.
The visitor’s journey begins on the third floor through an encounter with the Jewish world we see today. The display presents the vibrancy and diversity of contemporary Jewish life around the world, alongside the depth of the contribution that Jews have made to global civilization and culture. Through a direct, accessible encounter with the modern Jewish story, the visitor builds an immediate connection to the exhibit, creating a foundation for personal reflection and interpretation.
From here, visitors continue to the second floor, for an exhibit covering the full historical arc of global Jewry. The display stretches from the days of the destruction of the Second Temple to the present, highlighting the central geographies and communities of Jewish life and activity, and the evolution of Jewish faith, thought and creativity throughout the centuries.
The exhibit looks closely at the interaction between the Jewish community and the society in which it lived. Visitor are invited to experience the major crossroad in the history: the onset of emancipation and enlightenment in the modern era, including the fateful choices made by Jews throughout time regarding immigration, integration, assimilation, and the preservation of tradition and nationhood.
Finally, on the first floor, visitors can learn about the ancient roots and foundations of the Jewish people, based on the delicate interplay between the Jewish lifecycle and calendar, ritual traditions and an eternal relationship to the Land of Israel, all of which have served as the backbone to the Jewish people from ancient times until today.
Visitors can enjoy the complete exhibition, displayed across three floors, or visit just one floor and still have a fulfilling and meaningful experience.