BACK IN BUSINESS

CALIFORNIA

By Ariel Zilber

Published November 07, 2003, issue of November 07, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Following a tumultuous period in its illustrious history, the Judah L. Magnes Museum — which boasts of the third-largest Judaica collection in the United States — is celebrating its 40th anniversary and marking its reopening as an independent entity with “Brought to Light — The Storied Collections of the Judah L. Magnes Museum.”

This is the first exhibit at the Berkeley museum since the planned merger of the Magnes with the Jewish Museum of San Francisco fell apart.

“We are really known all over the world as a place that collects objects from the Jewish community and represents Jewish life throughout history,” said the museum’s acting executive director, Joanne Backman. “We see this de-merging and reopening as a way of getting our name back again.”

The exhibit reintroduces more than 100 drawings and antique ceremonial items amassed by the museum’s founder and director emeritus, Seymour Fromer. Among the items on display are a Torah ark from the Queen Mary, the Cunard ship that Jews used to escape the Nazis; a brass, 15th-century yad, or Torah pointer, from Italy and a 14th-century Chanukah lamp from Spain.

“Visitors to the exhibit can expect to be blown away by the stories that a lot of these pieces tell,” Backman said. “There are stories of sorrow and stories of joy and stories of deplorable treatment of Jewish people, and there are stories of triumph and redemption.”

Judah L. Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell St., Berkeley; through April 25, 2004. Sun.-Thu. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; donations suggested. (510-549-6950 or www.magnes.org)






Find us on Facebook!
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.