What a 21st-Century Jewish Museum Should Look Like

It should focus on the message and influence of Judaism’s core texts and beliefs—not on the sentimentality and kitsch that too many Jews associate with Judaism today.

A section of the Tree of Jesse window at Chartres Cathedral depicting Ezekiel, David, and Hosea. Wikimedia.

A section of the Tree of Jesse window at Chartres Cathedral depicting Ezekiel, David, and Hosea. Wikimedia.

Response
Feb. 18 2016
About the author

David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale, is the author of The Muse in the MachineAmericanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion, Judaism: A Way of Being, and The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness, just released by Liveright/Norton.


Edward Rothstein’s essay, “The Problem with Jewish Museums,” is an impressive analysis of a problem that many museum-goers have noticed: most Jewish museums don’t know what they’re doing. They have no clear view of Judaism or the Jewish community; accordingly, they have little or nothing to say, except on the topic of Jewish participation in the surrounding Gentile culture.

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