March 21st - March 22nd 2021TRANSITIONS -

Day 1 Sunday March,


The diversity of Jewish culture in most of Central and Eastern Europe came to a violent end with the Shoah. Nonetheless, Jewish life began to re-emerge here after 1945. Major French and British cities became centers of a pluralistic Jewish culture. But in some places like Germany and Hungary this only started happening after the year 2000. What is the situation in the different places today? Can Jewish life assert itself within the European diaspora?

3 p.m.

Opening Remarks

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel Director of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt

Words of welcome

Dr. Andrea Despot CEO of the Foundation „Remembrance, Responsibility and Future“

3.15 p.m.

Vanishing Diaspora – revisited

Prof. em. Bernard Wasserstein Prof. em. of History of the University of Chicago


Prof. Dr. Michael Brenner Professor of Jewish History and Culture at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Director of the Center for Israel Studies at American University in Washington, D.C.

4 p.m.

The Third Pillar of a World Jewish Identity – revisited

Dr. Diana Pinto Historian and writer


Prof. Dr. Alfred Bodenheimer Professor at the History of Jewish Religion and Literature, University of Basel

4.45 p.m.



Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel Director of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt

5.30 p.m.


6 p.m.

Video tour

of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt

7 p.m.

Transitions - the Jewish Diaspora in Europe

Talk with Prof. Em. Dr. Fania Oz-Salzberger Professor of History at the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa and Dr. Doron Rabinovici Writer, historian and editor


Dr. Ruth Fühner moderator, author and critic

Day 2 Monday March,


Jewish museums in Europe preserve the testimonies of past Jewish life and act in many places as institutions of remembrance of a Jewish culture that no longer exists there as it once did. What is their relationship to contemporary Jewish life in Europe? How do they portray the present and on the basis of what objects? Do they contribute to strengthening Jewish identities?

9 a.m.

Exhibiting Antisemitism and Political Discourse: Reflections from the UK

Joanne Rosenthal freelance curator, UK

Collecting Migration – Exhibiting Diversity: Insights from the Jewish Museum Berlin

Dr. Tamar Lewinsky curator at the Jewish Museum Berlin

Collecting the Present – Necessities of Digital Collections

Sara Soussan curator at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt

Chair: Dr. Eva Atlan head of collections at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt

10.30. a.m.


10.45 a.m.

Discussion on Jewish museums’ relations to the present

Impulse: “The Colossal Mirror”: Jewish Museums Past and Future

Dr. Emily D. Bilski Art historian, independent curator, and scholar

Prof. Dr. Émile Schrijver Director Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam (NL) , Dr. Hanno Loewy Director of the Jewish Museum Hohenems, Dr. Zsuzsanna Toronyi Director of the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives in Budapest, Joanne Rosenthal, Dr. Tamar Lewinsky, Sara Soussan

Chair: Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel Director of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt

12 - 12.30 p.m.


Professional exchange in Zoom Meeting

Dr. Eva Atlan Head of collections at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt


Jewish religious practice is premised on the right of unconditional religious freedom. Jewish men and women have repeatedly been deprived of this right in the course of European history. Even today, specific religious practices, particularly kosher slaughter and circumcision, are criticized and restricted in some European countries. What protection does European law offer practicing Jews? Where is this at risk? Which conclusions for a Jewish future in Europe can be drawn from legal debates?

1 p.m.

New Challenges to Freedom of Religion in Europe

Dr. Grégor Puppinck Director of the European Center for Law and Justice in Strasbourg

Strategies to Protect Jewish Life in Legal Issues

Yohan Benizri President of the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB)

2 p.m.

Panel discussion

Nicola Beer Vice-President of the European Parliament, Dr. Grégor Puppinck , Yohan Benizri, Rabbi Julian-Chaim Soussan Rabbi of the Jewish Community Frankfurt

Chair: Esther Schapira journalist, movie producer, former commentator of the ARD Tagesthemen

3 p.m.



All over Europe new Jewish voices are speaking out publicly and with growing confidence, articulating a pluralistic and decisively diasporic image of themselves. At the same time, some Jews are reacting to the rise in anti-Jewish hatred by choosing to emigrate. How can we evaluate these contradictory developments with respect to a Jewish future in Europe? Which role do they play for the way individuals see themselves?

3.15 p.m.


Prof. Dr. Dr. Michel Friedman journalist, philosopher, lawyer, and managing director of the Center for Applied European Studies at the University of Applied Sciences, Frankfurt

3.30 p.m.

Panel discussion

Laura Cazés head of Communication and Digitalization at the Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany, Chajm Guski author, publicist and blogger, Yves Kugelmann journalist, publisher and film producer Dr. Zsófia Kata Vincze scientist, associate professor at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Marc Weitzmann journalist and novelist

Moderation: Sara Soussan and Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel

4.45 p.m.

Discussion summary

Prof. Dr. Dr. Michel Friedman

5 p.m.

Parting words / conclusion

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Wenzel Director of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt