International Symposium Transitions

On the Jewish Diaspora in Europe

As part of the anniversary year “1,700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany,” the Jewish Museum Frankfurt will host an international symposium on contemporary Jewish life in Europe on March 21–22, 2021.

The lectures and panel discussions will reflect on the paradoxical developments of recent years: on the one hand, Jewish life is again under threat and membership in Jewish communities is declining across Europe. On the other, a growing number of young Jews are confidently articulating their Jewishness in public, thus making the plurality of Jewish positions in Europe increasingly visible.

At this one-and-a-half-day symposium, the Jewish Museum Frankfurt aims to contribute to a nuanced debate on the current situation of Jews and combine scholarly discourse with reflections on sociopolitical developments. The symposium will serve as a platform for different perspectives and visions that are meant to pave the way for a future life together as well as for a viable Jewish future in Europe.

The program will begin on Sunday afternoon with talks by Diane Pinto and Bernard Wasserstein, who will present opposing assessments of the current situation in Europe. These will be commented on by Michael Brenner and Alfred Bodenheimer. At the event Sunday evening, Doron Rabinovici and Fania Oz-Salzberger will discuss the extent to which the present period of Jewish life in Europe is one of transition. On Monday morning, museum curators will explain how they collect and preserve objects related to the present, and museum directors will explore the relationship between Jewish museums and contemporary Jewish life and culture. The subsequent panel discussion, featuring talks by Grégor Puppinck and Yohan Benizri, will focus on the legal framework for Jewish life in Europe and address relevant changes. Michel Friedman will start the final panel on Monday afternoon by outlining the criteria for a self-determined Jewish life, whose forms will be discussed by Jewish authors from various countries in Europe.

The symposium will be held exclusively online and in English in cooperation with the Remembrance, Responsibility, and Future Foundation.

Additional information and details about the livestream can be found in the attached program flier and on the websit

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