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April 07, 1978 - Image 72

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-04-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

72 Friday, April 1, 1978


Coming Sensational Attraction in Israel

Beth Hatefutsoth

Special to
The Jewish News

TEL AVIV — Israel has

many attractions for world
Jewry and for historians
everywhere. Few of the
." museums already function-
ing have the appeal that
will be provided by the
newest, due to open in May.
"Beth Hatefutsoth —
Museum of the Jewish
Diaspora" will have so
many attractions, will cover
so much of Jewish history,
that it alone will be suffi-
cient to attract Jewish
tourists in Israel.
Its existence is due to the
dream nurtured by Dr.
Nahum Goldmann. The
funds he has provided
through the Cultural Foun-
.dation and gifts from Land-
smanshaften of New York
made this great project pos-
The very personnel of the
board of directors provides a
glimpse at the impressive
sponsorship. Included are:
Nahum Goldmann, pres-
ident; George S. Wise, It-
zhak Artzi, Aviezer
Chelouche, Leon Dulzin
Yona Ettinger, Eric K. Gor-
nitzky, Itzhak Korn,
Shlomo Lahat, Shalom
Perlman, Moshe Rivlin, Av-
raham Shechterman, Av-
raham Schenker, Shlomo
Simonsohn and Jesaja
Beth Hatefutsoth is a
pioneer of the new look in
museums, not only in Israel
but in the world. Nowhere
else has technical skill —
outside scientific museums
— been applied on such a
massive scale.
Most striking is the ab-
sence of artifacts, ancient
objects or original works of
art from the past. Here the
entire exhibit has been
created from beginning to
end and tells its story
through the utilization of
the modern audio-visual
media — films, slides, mod-
els, dioramas etc.
Beth Hatefutsoth reflects

A Museum for World Jewry

tyrology is given powerful life in the yeshiva.
One entire wall of the
expression in the central
Memorial Column sus- museum traces the great
pended from the roof of the names and works of Jewish
building — a constant re- literature and slide shows
minder of Jewish suffering. are devoted to topics such as
At the entrance stands an Jewish art, education, Ian-
enlarged replica of the fam- guages, theatre as well as
- ous relief from the Arch of the role played by great
Titus depicting Jews going Jews in world civilization.
into Roman captivity 19
The historical section, en-
centuries ago. This is fol- titled "Among the Nations,"
lowed by a multi-slide show is a portrayal of the interac-
flashed onto 16 screens de- tion of the Jew with the sur-
picting faces of Jews around rounding society, its social
the world.
and economic impact and .
Here can be seen, for the Jewish way of life.
2,500 years of Jewish living,
There are 13 stations:
scattered throughout the of a Passover Seder service from Alexandria in the
world. The wheel has now in 14th Century Spain or a First Century to Byzantium
come full circle and today, typical wedding scene in in the Third Century to
once again, there is an Is-
19th Century Galicia or a Babylonia in the Fifth Cen-
rael at the center and a vib- modern American Bar tury, to Spain in the Middle
Mitzva. The models are all Ages, and so on.
rant Diaspora.
For two major reasons painstakingly
Each station has been
this museum is a necessity structed on the basis of care-
treated differently, with the
in the contemporary situa-
The community is the dioramas, models, murals
tion of the Jewish people:
First, the disappearance of subject of the second sec- and paintings reflecting the
survival was styles of the period they por-
many of the world's great tion. Jewish
communities demands a liv- largely due to the ingenuity tray. A variety of
of the corn- techniques are used: the
ing memorial to their
achievements and their munal structure. Here the travels of Benjamin of
depicts a hive Tudela are subject of an
constant heroic determina-
tion to achieve a creative of activities in a 13th Cen- animated cartoon, the his-
— tory of the Jews of the Un-
survival. Most of the great
historic communities of ranging from the rabbinical ited States can be seen on a
Europe ended with the law courts to the ritual 12-minute film "loop";
Holocaust while other fam- baths and from the school to while for modern times, the
ous communities in Africa the burial society. visitor is asked to partici-
On the modern level, pate in facing the dilemmas
and Asia no longer exist as a
result of the mass immigra- three types of communities confronting his forefathers
are shown in short 10 mi- and in making decisions.
tions to Israel since 1948.
The last of the halls of the
Secondly, there is an edu- nute films — those of
cational objective directed Salonika, Fez and the East exhibit is devoted to the Re-
to Zion depicting the
towards Israel's younger
generations, who have section commemorates yearning of the Jewish
for its land, as ex-
grown up in their own
sovereign state, often with through the themes of pressed through folk art,
an inadequate perception prayer and study. The historic pictures etc.
The final section is the
and understanding of the former is conveyed through
famous Chronosphere.
positive aspects of the Dias-
pora — its gallant and dig-
nified struggle, out of which
Here can be seen the set- minute multi-media pre-
emerged an ongoing culture
tings in which Jews prayed, sentation bringing together
and a unique way of life.
for example, in Fourth Cen- many of the themes he has
Beth Hatefutsoth is a
four-story building stand- tury Turkey, in 13th Cen- encountered throughout the
ing on the campus of Tel tury Prague, in 17th Cen- building. The dome of the
Aviv University. The em- tury China and Amster- hall becomes a giant screen
dam. The theme of study is
on which are projected maps
phasis is on the creative as-
projected through a film on and illustrations, including
pects of Jewish history but
the theme of Jewish mar-

Passover Reflections

wise quips
like Franklin. For instance,
Numbers and size do not who
it was Chaim Weizmann
count as much as some sup- who said, "The impossible
pose. Take America for in- takes a little longer."
stance in the year 1776. The
I think Franklin must
entire American population
have been Jewish. If he
was about three million.
wasn't, why did he keep
The leading city was
Passover? If you say he
Philadelphia with a didn't keep it, how is it he
population of about 30,000 knew so much about it?
yet in Philadelphia lived He wanted the whole
the man best known then American nation to keep
throughout the world — Passover. He arose at the
Benjamin Franklin. Continental Congress
after America had de-
He reminds one of Chaim
Weizmann, the Zionist
clared its independence
and proposed that the of-
leader, who was also a sci-
ficial seal of the United
entist, philosopher,
humorist States should have an
engraving of the Is-
raelites fleeing from
To be sure, Passover was
the great holiday to the
"founding fathers" gener-
ally. The Pilgrims and Puri-
tans saw themselves as fle-
Among the exhibits at Beth Hatefutsoth are, top
eing from Pharoah and like
the Israelites also crossing photograph, replica of a Fourth Century relief of a
the Red Sea" of the Atlan- aura academy session and, bottom photograph, detail
from the Arch of Titus;

(Copyright 1978, JTA. Inc.)

Beth Hatefutsoth — Museum for World Jewry

pictures of models from the
the viF.tor can receive a
exhibit itself.
print-Jut of the history of
The emphasis is on the
the c immunity from which
migrations of the Jews
he or his ancestors derive.
throughout their history
1-1,_ will also be able to get
but at the same time the
'Aographies of famous Jews
other themes — their way of
in whom he is interested.
life, culture and return to
Like the rest of the
Zion — are integrated into
museum, the films and
the chronological story.
print-outs in the study
Each of the three floors of
areas have been prepared in
the permanent exhibit has a
Hebrew and English.
study area, with video-
In addition to the perma-
cassettes and minicomput-
nent exhibits, temporary -
ers for visitors.
exhibitions are being pre-
On small screens the vis-
pared, the first being de-
itor can take his choice of
voted to the history of the
documentary films on topics
Jews of New York.
ranging from Jewish colic--
The -I
mumties around the world
will give regular showings
(e.g. Morocco, Eastern
of films on Jewish themes
Europe, Falashas) to as-
and will be used for lectures
pects of Jewish history (the
and seminars. The museum
expulsion from Spain,
was constructed around the
Moses Montefiore, the
theme and "belief in the in-
Dreyfus Trial) and from
terdependence of Israel and
ritual art (the marriage-
the Diaspora and the con-
contract or the Torah scribe)
viction that the key to the
to Jewish music and danc-
future of the Jewish people
ing tradition.
is the full partnership, re-
The minicomputer stores
quiring understanding and
information on 3,000
knowledge of-the common
Jewish communities and

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