The Jewish Museum is a cultural institution of the City of Frankfurt am Main and part of the Museumsufer museum landscape. We consider ourselves to be a museum without walls, acting directly in the Frankfurt urban space. Collaboration with other organisations is important to us in order to strengthen the social climate of tolerance and understanding of Jewish history and culture in Frankfurt.
Frankfurt Jewish Community
We, as a Jewish Museum, are affiliated in many different ways with the Frankfurt Jewish Community (Jüdische Gemeinde Frankfurt KdöR) re-established in 1945 by rabbi Leopold Neuhaus. The Nazis systematically discriminated against and destroyed the two pre-war communities, the Israelite Community and the neo-orthodox Israelite Religious Society, persecuting and murdering their members, looting and desecrating their cultural assets.
We see ourselves as a commemorative institution of the two pre-war communities, investigating their history and preserving their cultural material artifacts and written heritage in our collection. Part of these cultural artifacts, in particular, ceremonial objects, were returned to the present Jewish Community after World War II. We have received these objects on loan.
Moreover, we deal with the city’s old Jewish cemeteries, which are administered by today’s Frankfurt Jewish Community. The Cemetery on Battonnstrasse can be visited in tours and using our museum app. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, we dedicated an exhibition to the history of the Jewish Community. We hold cultural and commemorative events together with the Frankfurt Jewish Community. We also cooperate with the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland) located in Frankfurt, in the form of conferences and events.
Anne Frank Fund
We maintain a special cooperation with the Anne Frank Fund, Basel. The Frank Family Centre was founded at the initiative of the fund’s chair of many years, Buddy Elias. The centre investigates, preserves and provides access to the Frank, Elias and Stern family collections. This collection on loan returns the material evidence of the history of Anne Frank and her family to Frankfurt. The Frank Family Centre’s task of facilitating access to history is undertaken in close cooperation with the Anne Frank educational centre, which is dedicated to conveying the message of Anne Frank’s diary. We train young people from diverse cultural backgrounds to become team members and guides in our work to make history accessible in the "Werde Demokratie-Trainer" (Become a democracy trainer) programme.
We are in constant dialogue with research institutions that explore Jewish history and culture in Germany and Europe. We maintain a permanent cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow, which is involved in the conceptional development of the exhibition "We are here! European Jews 1945-50". In collaboration with the Fritz Bauer Institute for researching the history and impact of the Holocaust, we maintain the Pedagogical Centre Frankfurt, which is dedicated to conveying Jewish history and culture as well as the Holocaust story to schools.
We also participate in the LOEWE research focal area ("Religiöse Positionierungen") of the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University. We regularly cooperate with the Martin Buber Chair for Jewish Religious Philosophy and the Goethe University Institute for Judaic Studies, in order to publish the latest research findings in the area of Jewish cultural history beyond this research focal area.
We have collaborated with the Salomon Ludwig Steinheim Institute for German-Jewish history at the University Duisburg-Essen for many years on the cemetery project epidat.
9 November and Frankfurt Stolpersteine initiative
Museum Judengasse came about as the result of the Börneplatz conflict 1987. This story of its founding links us with the "Initiative 9. November", which has, since 1996, maintained the above-ground bunker on the Friedberger Anlage as an exhibition, event and remembrance space. We are showing the exhibition "Ostend: View into a Jewish quarter" there, open on Sundays during summer and autumn months. Also of importance to our work in the Frankfurt urban area is the association founded in 2003: Initiative Stolpersteine Frankfurt am Main, with which we are in constant professional contact, not least via our “Datenbank Gedenkstätte Neuer Börneplatz” (Neuer Börneplatz memorial site database).
Other institutions, associations and museums
We collaborate regularly with the university library’s Judaica and Hebraica department. Together and with the support of Europeana Judaica, we created the Jüdische Orte in Frankfurt am Main (Jewish places in Frankfurt am Main) website, which offers an overview of the city’s most important places of Jewish life. The website Jüdisches Leben in Frankfurt am Main (Jewish life in Frankfurt am Main) provides insight into the biographies of Frankfurt Jewish families forced to emigrate under the Nazi regime. Among other tasks, the association of the same name also manages the City of Frankfurt am Main’s annual visitors’ programme for descendants of Jews from Frankfurt, in which we also participate.
As a Frankfurt municipal museum, we regularly collaborate with other local cultural institutions, museums and schools. We are pleased to be part of such a cooperative professional network. The Archaeological Museum of Frankfurt published the results of the excavations and objects discovered at Frankfurt’s Börneplatz, which led to the creation of the Museum Judengasse. We also display some of these archaeological finds in the Museum Judengasse. The 2015 exhibition ‘Im Licht der Menorah’ (In the light of the menorah) is yet another example of cooperation. We are in constant contact with the Institute for the History of Frankfurt as we conduct basic research for exhibition projects and research on specific enquiries.
Several members of the Museum are members of the Commission for the history of the Jews in Hesse; the Museum is also represented on the Commission’s board. We have concluded a cooperation agreement with the Hessenpark Open Air Museum, where we are showing the ‘Jakob Nussbaum – Frankfurter Impressionist’ exhibition in 2018. We also collaborated with this museum on the permanent exhibition on display there: ‘Jüdisches Landleben in Südhessen’ (Jewish country life in southern Hesse).
ICOM, German Museum Association and AEJM
We adhere to the International Council of Museums (ICOM) standards for professional museum work and are a member of the German Museum Association (Museumsbund). Moreover, we are particularly involved in the Association of European Jewish Museums, actively participating on a regular basis in its annual conferences and curatorial and educational network meetings.
We envision our museum as a kind of hub of many relationships, and are pleased to continuously expand our network.