In a New Exhibit, the Jewish Museum Avoids the Word Jew

Sept. 1 2021

During a recent visit to New York City’s Jewish Museum, Menachem Wecker noticed something odd about an art exhibit titled Louise Bourgeois, Freud’s Daughter:

I viewed every artwork and read each label, . . . without learning whether the artist was born, or identified as, Jewish. Given that “Jewish” appears in the museum name, I continue to find this shocking. Would the Air Force Museum remain mum on whether the subject of a massive exhibit ever flew a plane?

Known for her mammoth, arachnoid sculptures, Bourgeois (1911-2010) was also not Sigmund Freud’s daughter—despite the exhibit title. The latter, incidentally, was born Sigismund Schlomo Freud, but the Jewish Museum also neglects sharing his Jewishness with viewers.

As I navigated the show in the museum’s second floor galleries, I allowed for the possibility I missed a hint about Bourgeois’s faith. Quite a bit of sleuthing prior to the show had turned up empty, so I asked a guard if the exhibit shared anywhere whether Bourgeois was Jewish. “Oh no,” he informed me definitively. “It wouldn’t tell you that.”

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Read more at Rough Sketch

More about: Art, Jewish museums, New York Jewish Museum, Sigmund Freud

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism