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Jewish museum opens following $100m rebrand in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv’s Jewish museum has reopened and rebranded as ANU after more than a decade of renovations totalling $100 million.

anu museum of the jewish people

The world’s largest Jewish museum was formerly known as Beit Hatfutsot. It has been rebranded as ANU – Museum of the Jewish People. ANU is Hebrew for ‘we’.

“Everyone walking in here needs to see themselves regardless of gender, denomination, ethnic background,” said Dan Tadmor, CEO of ANU – Museum of the Jewish People.

“This is our story and you need to feel part of it,” added Tadmor (via Associated Press).

ANU explores the history of the Jewish people. The museum’s exhibition space has tripled, with four wings telling the story of the Jewish people, from ancient times to present day.

ANU – Museum of the Jewish People

In addition, ANU focuses on Jewish identity and culture, folklore and the arts, language and literature, and the different denominations in Judaism.

The journey begins with the story of the Jewish migrations before looking at Jewish life, culture and scholarship. It culminates in the rebirth of the Jewish people after the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel.

The old galleries, which featured dioramas and models from 1978, have been replaced with state-of-the-art exhibits with interactive touchscreens.

ANU’s exhibition on synagogues includes 21 models of synagogues. These depict different elements of Jewish life, including social events, study and worship.

Jewish identity and culture at ANU

Orit Shaham-Gover, chief curator at ANU, said the gallery of contemporary Jews is “a celebration of life and culture and lights and colors”.

“The museum is not a muted temple,” added Shaham-Gover. “It’s about life. So you come here, you have sounds, you have light and colors. It’s part of you.”

Elsewhere, the Manchester Jewish Museum is set to unveil a major renovation project when it reopens in spring 2021. The museum is doubling its current space and will boast a new gallery, studio, kitchen, shop and café.

The Jewish Museum Frankfurt also announced a $58 million expansion, which included showcasing Anne Frank and her family’s history with the city at the Frank Family Center.

Images: ANU

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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