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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 5, 2013/ 25 Nissan, 5773

'The Jew in the Box'

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Art" can smooth the rough edges of life, nurturing beauty and imagination, and showing a different and provocative way of looking at the world, but artists — and museums and galleries that show their work — are sometimes surprised by the hostile reception their works provoke. Sensitivity to the feelings of the public, the consumers of art, is not necessarily a cultivated art.

The Jewish Museum in Berlin is learning that lesson with an exhibit innocently described as "The Whole Truth: Everything You Wanted to Know About Jews."

Such an exhibit is particularly appropriate in Germany, where there aren't any longer many Jews. The Nazis killed more than half of the 500,000 Jews in Germany before World War II, and few survivors of the Nazi killing camps were tempted to return to the place where they were stripped of their families, their homes and their property. Jews had lived and prospered there for hundreds of years.

The museum provoked controversy several years ago when a speaker urged a boycott of Israel to protest what she called mistreatment of the Palestinians. This year, the museum had another bright idea. Young Germans would learn about the 200,000 Jews who live among the 82 million Germans, many of them new immigrants from Russia, new in practicing the Jewish religion themselves. Jewish volunteers would be recruited to sit in a glass display case, one at a time, to answer questions about Judaism and the customs and everyday lives of Jews.

From 4 to 6 every afternoon from now until August, museum-goers will line up to pose questions to what everybody is calling "the Jew in the Box." It's one of the most popular attractions at the museum, but not every Jew in Germany is pleased.

"Why don't they give him a banana and a glass of water," asks Stephan Kramer, the general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, "and make the Jew feel really cozy in his glass box?"


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The Holocaust, and what happened to Germany's Jews, is the most sensitive subject in German life. For decades after World War II, it was the subject that nobody talked about. Denying the Holocaust is against the law, and displaying the flags and symbols of the Hitler era is a quick way to get in trouble with the law. Innocent curiosity about the past was discouraged.

"Few Germans born after World War II know any Jews, or much about them," says Tina Luedecke, a museum official. "A lot of our visitors don't know any Jews and have questions they want to ask. With this exhibition, we offer an opportunity for those people to get to know more about Jews and Jewish life."

When the exhibit opened, there was tepid and nervous applause from some critics. A reviewer for the newspaper Die Welt said he was not a fan of "the Jew in the Box" but observed that it was an honest (and perhaps brave) effort to acknowledge and deal with the "tension" that Germans feel toward their Jewish neighbors.

One of the volunteers in the box told the newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung that he tries to show how Jewish life is much like the lives of other Germans. "There are Jews who live on welfare," he told questioners. "There are Jews who do not go to the synagogue to pray, but who do tai chi and yoga."

The exhibit is not only about the Jews in the glass box. It illustrates what happened in Hitler's time with documents, photographs, wall texts and snippets from television programs, illustrating how the Holocaust was treated in the popular media.

One interactive display called "Jew or Not?" presents photographs of Charlie Chaplin, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, Justin Bieber and other show-business celebrities and invites museum-goers to guess whether they're Jewish or gentile.

"Clearly, the goal here is to 'educate' through whimsy," observes Bruce Bawar on Frontpagemag.com, an Internet magazine. The museum's website calls this approach to educate "evenhanded and witty," and Cilly Kugelmann, the museum's program director, says "an exhibition can sometimes be light and playful." (Light and playful Germans. Who knew?)

It's the symbolism in the presentation that upsets many older Germans. "The Jew in the Box" is too close to the memory of Adolf Eichmann, one of the executors of "the final solution," who was put on trial in 1961 for crimes against humanity and at his trial sat in a glass box for his own protection.

He was convicted of crimes against humanity and paid for them at the end of a rope. The glass box made a lasting impression on the German generation now slipping swiftly into history.

Several of the volunteers call sitting in the box for two hours, taking questions, an "artistic expression" in itself. "With so few of us," Leeor Englander tells a Berlin reporter, "you almost inevitably feel like an exhibition piece."

If this is art, it's not beauty, but maybe it's an attempt to get at truth.

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Comment on JWR contributor Suzanne Fields' column by clicking here.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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