critical / constructive
VOLUME 17, NUMBER 3 / SUMMER 2016
T he Summer issue of CONTACT features a diverse array of personalities and perspectives exploring history, memory and cultural meaning in Jewish communities throughout the world. To start things off, Brigitte Sion visits European Jewish museums at a crossroads. Initially created as repositories of artifacts, they have transitioned to a new role in publicly-engaged pedagogy: Presenting the full spectrum of the Jewish experience in Europe as both a bulwark against anti-Semitism and as an instructive tool espousing inclusion and intercultural respect. The article examines an ongoing question: How should these museums balance the particular mandate of Jewish history with the more universalist educational potential of museums in contemporary European society?
The issue then explores two linguistic phenomena: Rabbi David Gedzelman on the retrofitting of classical and modern Hebrew poetry into popular, zeitgeist-defining Israeli songs, and Hilary Schumer on the subtle osmosis of once-uniquely Jewish terms into the American vernacular. Both phenomena are evidence of a thriving culture, in America and Israel, in which Jewish expression has become an intrinsic part of the landscape.
We return to Europe with Liam Hoare’s profiles of three individuals exploring creative avenues of Jewish engagement and expression, and with Ari Goldman’s pilgrimage to pray at the grave of his single personal link to the Holocaust. The issue closes with the thought-provoking, language-melding sculptures of Ghiora Aharoni. Taken together, the articles, profiles and art in this issue reveal a vibrant and diverse community reclaiming the past as it charts a dynamic future.
in this issue
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