Thursday, December 5, 2013

Association of European Jewish Museums conference report

 Warsaw, Poland.  Museum of the History of Polish Jews - site of next year's AEJM meeting.  Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2013

Association of European Jewish Museums (AEJM) Conference Report

by Samuel D. Gruber

(ISJM) It has been several years since I attended the annual meeting of the Association of European Jewish Museums (AEJM) - the scheduling comes right in the middle of the fall academic semester - that (and a lack of travel money!) make it hard trip. But I am especially sorry I missed this year's gathering, which appears to have been a exceptionally good one - with sessions and trips spread over three countries!  Next year the group meets in Warsaw to celebrate the soon-to-opn Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

AEJM has grown tremendously in recent years.  It membership tends to favor the more establish and professional museums, and also many that receive generous state support, but increasinglyu these museums host training programs open to a wider community of Judaica and Jewish history curators, conservators and public moderators.   It is a valuable forum and network for institutions to share resources, experience, and to tackle difficult topics and issues together.  This year, five new institutions have become members including museums in Russia, Latvia and Germany.  

Jewish Heritage Europe has posted a summary report of the recent annual meeting here, supplied by AEJM president Hanno Loewy, director of the Jewish museum in Hohenems, Austria.  the report includes a summary of some of the organization's most successful programs.

AEJM membership is primarily for museums and related institutions, but there are membership and participation categories for individuals.  Check the AEJM website for details.

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