By Elizabeth C.
SECULAR AND CULTURAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS FREQUENTLY GROW FROM PEOPLE figuratively putting each other in boxes. But in Germany, an exhibit that is literally putting a ‘Jew In A Box’ hopes to expand understanding.
“A lot of our visitors don’t know any Jews and have questions they want to ask,” the Jewish Museum’s Tina Luedecke tells the Associated Press. “With this exhibition we offer an opportunity for those people to know more about Jews and Jewish life.”
From now through August, a Jewish man or woman will be seated inside a glass box for two hours each day to answer visitors’ questions about being Jewish in modern Germany.
While proving popular, the exhibit has provoked criticism in a nation where 6 million Jews were killed by Nazis during World War II.
“It’s a horrible thing to do – completely degrading and not helpful,” he said. “The Jewish Museum absolutely missed the point if they wanted to do anything to improve the relations between Germans and Jews.”
But Ido Porat, a 33-year-old Israeli who is among those volunteering to answer questions, says the exhibit symbolizes how it feels to be among 200,000 Jews who still live among Germany’s 82 million people.
“I feel a bit like an animal in the zoo, but in reality that’s what it’s like being a Jew in Germany,” Porat said. “You are a very interesting object to most people here.”