A friend recently emailed me this article about the controversial The Whole Truth exhibit at one of my favorite museums, the Jewish Museum in Berlin (one of my favorite museums). The concept behind the exhibit is to teach the public about Judaism and being Jewish. One of the components of the exhibit is a Jewish man or woman sitting inside a glass case and answering any or all questions the visitors may have (looks like it’s time to start investing in my own glass case, seems to be a trend…).
So first, I have to say that I have not seen The Whole Truth exhibit, so I really don’t know too much about it, but I do want to say that I love the idea of learning through interaction. I think that often when we meet someone different from us, we do not ask too many questions for fear of offending the other individual. In this case though, the Jewish Museum eliminates that barrier and invites the visitors to interact with these willing men and women who want to share a very important part of their life with others. Museums are very often one way dialogues, where the visitors come and absorb the information that is provided to them, but do not have the opportunity to ask questions they may specifically be interested in. The glass case may be a bit much, although I’m sure it does a great job differentiating the participants from other visitors, but the idea of including the opportunity for dialogue within the exhibit is great. I understand the controversy behind it, but I think the main reason behind going to a museum such as the Jewish Museum is to learn about others and I can’t think of any better way to learn about Judaism than from a person for whom all the information presented is everyday life.
Also, isn’t this video from the exhibit great?