The Dismantling of Jewish Identity

Assuming no education, offering little knowledge, and affecting not to care about either, New York’s Jewish Museum promises to inspire new forms of an “ever-changing” Jewish identity.

From Kehinde Wiley’s Alios Itzhak at the Jewish Museum. Jewish Museum.

From Kehinde Wiley’s Alios Itzhak at the Jewish Museum. Jewish Museum.

Response
May 20 2019
About the author

Edward Rothstein is Critic at Large at the Wall Street Journal. His essays in Mosaic include “The Problem with Jewish Museums” and “Jerusalem Syndrome at the Met.”


The scandal of the Jewish Museum in New York, as Menachem Wecker’s fine essay shows, is a scandal caused by immense curatorial ignorance, both cultural and religious, combined with the arrogant belief that such ignorance doesn’t really matter. In his response to Wecker’s essay, Tom Freudenheim expands this indictment, noting that a palpable hostility toward Jewish religion and traditions seeps into the museum’s presentations.

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More about: Arts & Culture, Jewish museums