Conference | Synagogue and Museum

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 11, 2016

From the Society of Architectural Historians:

Synagogue and Museum: 3rd International Congress on Jewish Architecture
Technische Universität Braunschweig, 21–23 November 2016

Organized by the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture (Technische Universität Braunschweig/ Center for Jewish Art at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Hochschule für jüdische Studien Heidelberg, in cooperation with the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum, Braunschweig, and the Israel Jacobson Netzwerk für jüdische Kultur und Geschichte e.V.

Since antiquity and especially since the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in the year 70 CE, synagogues have become the central places of gathering of Jewish communities. They are complex, highly significant and polyvalent objects of for religious, social, economic, architectural, and artistic developments in Jewish culture. At the same time, they reflect the interdependencies with the surrounding cultures. Since the holocaust, historic synagogues also gained high importance as focal points of remembrance and education.

However, scholars were interested in the material culture(s) of Jews all over the world well before the holocaust and turned synagogues and their furnishings into a focus of their research. The documentation of synagogues as objects of cultural and historical significance started alongside with the establishment of Jewish ethnography (jüdische Volkskunde) as an academic discipline at the end of the 19th century. They became items of collecting, which were set up in exhibitions and museums. Objects from the religious and cultural practice got ‘musealised’, as well as entire synagogue furnishings and sometimes even architectural elements. After 1945, the interest in synagogues as objects of cultural history continued. Besides ritual objects and furnishings, the ’empty’ buildings of the annihilated communities became objects of interest. Historic synagogue buildings were regarded as museums, their material substance was and is restored and interpreted in different ways. The virtual and haptic reconstruction of destroyed synagogues generated another group of ‘immaterial’ exhibits.

The congress will examine the subject in a wide range of perspectives of theoretical and historical reflections. Historic and actual examples of documenting, collecting, and researching synagogues and their furnishing will shed light on the history, the presence, and the future of synagogues in and as museums.

For registration and any questions, please, contact us by email, synagogen@tu-bs.de; registration should be done by 7 November 2016. A congress fee of 50€ is payable directly at the registration desk; it includes coffee breaks and refreshments, the visit of the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum Hinter Aegidien, and the evening events on Tuesday, 22 November.

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M O N D A Y ,  2 1  N O V E M B E R  2 0 1 6

13:00  Opening Session
• Welcome from Alexander von Kienlin (Braunschweig)
• Greetings, Jürgen Hesselbach (President of the TU Braunschweig), Johannes Heil (Rektor of the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg), Heike Pöppelmann (Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum), Aliza Cohen-Mushlin (Center for Jewish Art, Jerusalem), and Jochen Litterst (Braunschweig)
• Keynote address by Annette Weber (Heidelberg)
• Introduction, Ulrich Knufinke (Braunschweig)

14:30  Coffee break

15:00  Panel 1 | Displaying Synagogues: A History of Transfers and Transformations
Chair: Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (New York)
• Sabine Offe (Bremen), Synagogues as Traces
• Ilia Rodov (Bar Ilan), Synagogue as Museum: Ritual and Exposition
• Naomi Simhony (Jerusalem), Synagogue Exhibitions in National Museums in the State of Israel

16:45  Panel 2 | Synagogues as Sources for Research and Education
Chair: Jutta Dick (Halberstadt)
• Mirko Przystawik (Braunschweig), The Hornburg Synagogue and Its Furnishing
• Renato Athias (Pernambuco/Brazil), Memory and Architectural Preservation of the First Synagogue in the Americas
• Marc Grellert (Darmstadt), Synagogues Destroyed in Germany: 20 Years of Virtual Reconstructions in Museums

T U E S D A Y ,  2 2  N O V E M B E R  2 0 1 6

9:00  Panel 3 | Collecting Contexts: Objects From Synagogues in Jewish and Non-Jewish Collections
Chair: Chana C. Schütz (Berlin)
• Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek (Wien), The Judaica-Collection at the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum and its Presentation(s)
• Sergey Kravtsov (Jerusalem), The Jewish Museum in Lviv: Genius Loci and Realpolitik
• Miranda Crowdus (Hannover), Synagogue Music-Objects as Metonyms: Ethics and Dissonances in the Material Representation/Display of Jewish Practice

10:30  Coffee break

11:00  Panel 4 | Objects and Sites of Jewish Material Culture
Chair: Alexander von Kienlin (Braunschweig)
• Svetlana Tarkhanova (Moscow), The Chorazin Synagogue (4th–6th centuries) at the Archaeological Site and in the Museum Space
• Askold Ivantchik (Bordeaux), Archeological and Epigraphical Traces of an Early Diaspora Community in Tanais, Russia
• Hans-Christof Haas (Bamberg), The Sukkah of Mendel Rosenbaum in Zell /Lower Franconia: Tradition – Research – Presentation

12:30  Lunch break

13:30  Poster presentation

14:15  Panel 5 | Synagoguges as Museums: New Concepts of Display and Education
Chair: Samuel Gruber (Syracuse NY)
• Ron Epstein (Zurich), Re-Used Synagogues in Switzerland
• Martha Keil (St. Pölten/Wien), ‘Who is in need of a Judentempel?’ The Former Synagogue of St. Pölten (Lower Austria) and Its Cultural Location
• Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (New York), The Example of the Wooden Synagogue in the Polin-Museum, Warsaw

16:30  Visit of the Jüdisches Museum des Braunschweigischen Landesmuseums

18:00  Reception by the Lord Mayor of the City of Braunschweig, Altstadtrathaus

19:00  Public Lecture
Ismar Schorsch (New York), Leopold Zunz und die Wissenschaft des Judentums

W E D N E S D A Y ,  2 3  N O V E M B E R  2 0 1 6

9:00  Panel 6 | Reconstruction, Re-contextualization: Synagogue-Museums and Their
Chair: Rudolf Klein (Budapest)
• Anselm Hartinger (Erfurt), The Museum Old Synagogue
• Gabi Rudolf M.A. (Würzburg), Synagogue Arnstein: Visual Fragment of an Invisible History
• Givi Gambashidze, Tbilisi), Museum as a Space of Peace

10:30  Coffee break

11:00  Panel 7 | The Future of Synagogues in/ as Museums
Chair: Vladimir Levin (Jerusalem)
• Eszter Gantner (Marburg), Synagogue as Space of Conflicts: The Formal Synagogue of Esztergom, Hungary
• Heike Pöppelmann and Hans Jürgen Derda (Braunschweig), The Museum of Religions in the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum
• Benigna Schönhagen (Augsburg), The Example of Augsburg
• Christiane Twiehaus and Sebastian Ristow (Cologne), The Findings, Reconstruction, and Museum Presentation of the Cologne Medieval Synagogue and the Jewish Quarter

12:30  Final discussion

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