Judaica Europeana Newsletter 3

Judaica Europeana
Jewish collections online

Number 3, 2011

Ghetto Theatre by David Bomberg, 1920, courtesy of Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art
Judaica Europeana collections uploaded

Judaica Europeana is a growing network of 25 heritage institutions, led by the European Association for Jewish Culture in London, which will bring digitized Jewish content collections to Europeana – a portal of Europe’s museums, archives and libraries. The digitization of partnersʼ collections has proceeded apace over the last year alongside the harmonization of their metadata. Once the collections‘ databases have been uploaded, users will be able to find and view each and every object together with its cataloguing data. The first batch of Judaica Europeana collections uploaded on Europeana included a substantial part of the Freimann Collection at the Frankfurt University Library.

More about uploaded collections

Rabbi and Rabbitzin by Mark Gertler, 1914, courtesy of Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art
Spotlight on partners’ collections

Ben Uri ― The London Jewish Museum of Art

Ben Uri was founded in 1915 in Whitechapel in the heart of the Jewish East End of London. It has a fascinating history and is the longest-established Jewish cultural institution in Britain. It is no coincidence the histories of the Ben Uri and that of 20th century British art are closely intertwined; the blossoming of the immigrant generations of Jewish artists was mirrored by the development of modernist painting in Britain. The outburst of creativity, which burgeoned in London’s East End and gave the country so many of its 20th century masters, including the group now known as the Whitechapel Boys, also gave birth to the Ben Uri.

More about Ben Uri ― The London Jewish Museum of Art

Megillah of Esther, 20th century © Museo Sefardí de Toledo
Sephardi Museum of Toledo

The Museo Sefardí of Toledo was established in 1964 to strengthen the bonds which have linked Sephardi Jews to Spain for centuries. The museum collects the evidence that bears witness to Sephardi culture, which originated in the Iberian Peninsula. Its collection consists mainly of archeological and ethnographic documentation on the history of Sephardi Jews from all over the world. It has also an important collection of Hebrew books, documents and manuscripts relating to Jewish history and religion. The museum is housed in the 14th century Sinagoga del Tránsito.

More about the Sephardi Museum

Virtual exhibitions are superb showcases for digital collections. They place images and documents in their historical and social contexts, and bring Jewish history and culture to life. The Judaica Europeana exhibitions can all be accessed from our home page and two are introduced here.

Fanny Waxman, photo by Hyman Polsky, c.1913, courtesy of Jewish Museum London.
Yiddish Theatre in London

This virtual exhibition from the Jewish Museum London reveals a fascinating history. From the late 19th century, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe brought a rich and expressive form of theatre to the East End of London. Plays were performed in Yiddish, the language spoken by Central and Eastern European Jews. They ranged from comedy to tragedy, drawing on Yiddish folk tales, adaptations of Shakespeare and stories of immigrant life. The early 20th century was the heyday of Yiddish theatre in London, with packed theatres and long queues for tickets.

More about Yiddish theatre in London

Composition with Portrait, 1930-1935 © Victor Brauner. National Museum of Art of Romania, Bucharest. C/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2011
From Dada to Surrealism: Jewish Avant-Garde Artists from Romania, 1910-1938

This online exhibition presents some of the art and photographs on show at the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam from June to 2 October 2011. The exhibition confirms the importance of Bucharest in European avant-garde art and sheds light on the relationship between Jewish identity and radical modernity.

Composition with Portrait, is one of Victor Brauner’s ‘suitcase paintings’. Worried by the political events in Europe, Brauner decided to reduce the dimensions of his creations and created the ‘suitcase paintings’ – small enough to be put in a piece of luggage in case of an emergency.

More about Jewish avant-garde artists from Romania

Oifn Pripetshik, Saturn Records, 78 rpm, late 1940s
Partners’ meetings and events

Judaica Europeana holds partnersʼ meetings, workshops, conferences and other events. The partners participate in conferences on Jewish studies, workshops on the latest developments in knowledge management and web technology, as well as Europeana working groups.

More about partners’ meetings and events