A Museum is About Remembering the Past

This shouldn't be hard. But the New York Times, nonetheless, asks, "What and Whom Are Jewish Museums For?"

The obvious answer is to remember the history, tradition, art and culture of the Jewish people. And it's for Jews and anyone interested in the subject.

But the Times' thrust is about the Jewish Museum in Berlin which, like many museums in Europe, went anti-Semitic with attacks on the Jewish State. And the Times would like to argue that museums are supposed to stir contemporary debate.

(In a JTA attack, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez ally, Elad Nehorai, claims that Holocaust museums are legacy institutions and that the purpose of the Holocaust is to mobilize support for illegal aliens.)

"On the one side are representatives of Berlin’s Jews who say that under its previous leadership, the museum’s focus was not sufficiently Jewish; on the other are international scholars and museum professionals who praise the institution for its willingness to serve as a place for dialogue on issues of identity in an age of growing anti-Semitism across Europe."

A museum is not a place for dialogue on contemporary issues of identity or other such nebulous academese nonsense. 

Across Europe, in Paris or Amsterdam, Jewish museums present cultural history in the context of the values and dynamics of their societies, with references to the past, while creating context for the present. 

The context is meant to be created internally, not projected externally by the museum.

By studying the past, you are meant to develop your own perspective and identity. Rather than being told what to think and how to see the present.

“How to explain why there is such enormous interest in the Jewish Museum Berlin? It cannot be chalked up to its architecture. People could come and look around and leave, but they don’t,” said Ms. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, who is also a curator for the Polin Jewish museum in Warsaw and has worked as a consultant on the Jewish Museum Berlin’s new permanent exhibition. “They come to exhibitions, come to debates, lectures.”

“I would argue it is because it is relevant,” she said. “They should be encouraged and supported in opening up wide debate on issues that really matter to contemporary society, whether one agrees with the speaker, or every aspect of a particular exhibition.”

Debates and lectures are not the purpose of a museum. A museum should safeguard the past. When it's hijacked by leftist activists striving to dictate its future, its purpose has been perverted.

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