Are you thinking of bringing your children or a group of kids to the Jewish Museum Vienna? We offer lots of exciting activities for families and groups. In cooperation with wienXtra we also offer regular programs during the “family days” and during the “Viennese holiday game”. Every Sunday from 2 pm to 4 pm the Jewish Museum Vienna offers a fascinating program for children (6 to 10 years) and families.
The Jewish Museum Vienna for at Home
Image (c) JMW
Since November 2018, this light sculpture can be found at 25 addresses in 16 districts in Vienna. It commemorates the synagogues that had stood there until they were set on fire and destroyed in November 1938. The artist Lukas Kaufmann came up with the concept for this light sculpture. It’s easy to recognize – it’s a Star of David. Lukas studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. The Hebrew name for this work of art is “OT,” which means “sign” or “symbol.” In the evening, when the street lights in Vienna are switched on, this symbol also lights up – in memory of the synagogues.
A QR code is attached to the stele on which the Star of David stands. You can see which architect built the synagogue and when, how many women and men it could hold, and what the Jewish place of worship looked like. In the Visible Storage of the Jewish Museum Vienna, visitors can see many objects that were used in these synagogues. The synagogue is home to the Torah scrolls. Written in Hebrew, the scrolls tell the story from the creation of the world to the death of Moses. Moreover, all the rules and laws are contained in the Torah. But the scroll is not just a plain piece of parchment! It is beautifully decorated!
You can see everything that the Torah is “wearing” on Google Arts & Culture.
How about looking for the address of the synagogue in your district and wondering what a Torah crown in that synagogue might have looked like? Or designing the lamps for this synagogue? The Torah ornaments could not be seen at all without light! At http://www.lichtzeichen.wien you can also take a walk through Vienna from your own home.
Image (c) JMW
Adolf Kelsen ran a company for lamps and chandeliers in Vienna. He manufactured the lighting for the synagogue on Neudeggergasse in Vienna-Josefstadt, and perhaps for other Viennese synagogues as well. His son, Hans Kelsen, was a lawyer. He and other lawyers wrote the Austrian Federal Constitution, which has been celebrating its 100th birthday this year. A constitution regulates how the state functions. Who is allowed to do what and why and who is not allowed to and why not. In reality, of course, it's a little more complicated.
Image (c) JMW
Josef Eisner, whose company designed and produced the lamps for the synagogue in Vienna-Ottakring, had his shop at Praterstraße 52 in Vienna-Leopoldstadt. His apartment was at Lichtenauergasse 5, also in Vienna-Leopoldstadt. Both the shop and the apartment had a telephone connection. If you live in Vienna-Leopoldstadt, you can check out how long it took Josef Eisner to get from home to work.
Please send us your drawings of Torah crowns or the lamps in Vienna synagogues. Each sheet has a place in our collection because we will put all submitted works of art into our inventory.
At Google Art & Culture, you can take a closer look at the objects from our exhibition, “Our City!,” like never before! If you have paper and pencil at the ready, draw a portrait of your favorite artifact! Design it your way – with lots of color or only in pencil, make it modern, or simply let your imagination guide you.
Celina works at night. Because nighttime in the museum is the most exciting time. Things namely speak at night. Only at night. They tell who they are and where they come from, who made them, who used them or who gave them to the Jewish Museum. Learning the language of objects in the showcases has taken some time. Celina doesn’t understand everything yet, but that will work out, everything takes time. Sometimes the objects in the showcases don’t say anything, because they can’t remember anything or have forgotten their story. Some of these items have therefore become very quiet and shy; they are often in the second row of the showcase. Celina knows she is not allowed to do that – but sometimes she would like to take things from the second and third rows and place them in the front row. Even if they don’t know their story themselves or if the museum people didn’t have the opportunity to find this story, there always is a story!
Not too long ago, Celina was in one of the offices on the third floor of the museum on Dorotheergasse. She finds desks very interesting and likes pens and small note pads. Shortly before the museum night was over and the building services team began work, she wrote down the word “museum” in Hebrew letters. It is clear that Celina can now speak Hebrew. If not, she could have easily drawn the lettering, because a light installation by Brigitte Kowanz can be seen on the facade of the museum. It shines day and night. Funny detail: you can only see the letters correctly if you walk along Dorotheergasse from the Graben. If you look from the other side, they appear mirror-inverted. Celina thinks it’s funny.
Would you like to send us a picture of this light installation that you painted yourself? You could make it very colorful, design cool houses for Dorotheergasse or just draw whatever you would like to have in the lane. Maybe an ice cream shop in the winter? We’ll keep your works of art and they’ll become part of the museum’s collection. This is called an inventory. The inventory of the Jewish Museum Vienna already contains a large number of objects, all of which tell about Jewish history and culture – like your drawing...
Celina is already planning the next article at this point; it will also be about light. Are you curious?
Travel with Celina around the world
You can send us your stories and photos of your creations either per post or via E-Mail.
Jewish Museum Vienna, c/o Vermittlung, Dorotheergasse 11, 1010 Vienna, Austria