A call for artefacts for the Museum of Modern Jewish Life

Inspired by a visit to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, August 2016

 

Museum of Modern Jewish Life (2)

1.

As your Synagogue President

It is my honour

To make this years’

High Holidays Appeal

 

As I said on Rosh Hashanah,

Thanks to your generous donations last year

We have been able to raise the money

To build the extension

To our Jewish Museum

 

I think we can all agree

That the international design competition

Although controversial

Has been a great success

 

It is an inspired structure

That says so much

About our

Modern Jewish experience

 

A giant mezuzah fractured into seven pieces

Linked by wide corridors

And high ceilings

With fragments of the Shema

Littering

The walkways

 

As you know

We have recorded our past so well

 

The achievements

And triumphs

The expulsions

And pogroms

 

Our contributions

To Science

to Literature

And to Art

 

We know where we have come from

 

Our moments of pride

Our journeys of woe

Our times of troubles

Our nights of pain

 

Under glass

And on film

Digitally

And interactively

 

We have catalogued

Memorialised

And sanctified

Our history

 

I might even say

Our history

Has become

Our liturgy

 

But so much has happened in recent times

And we must understand

The here and now

As well as the

Now long gone

 

2.

So this Yom Kippur I ask for funds to acquire

The artefacts of our Jewish today

 

The large and the small

The highly significant

And the more mundane

 

This is an exciting project

But we need your help

 

The Steering Committee

On your behalf

Has compiled a shopping list of items

We feel

Will be necessary

To record

Accurately

And reflectively

Our present

Modern Jewish experience

 

If you feel you can make a donation

To help us acquire any of these items

Please see me at the end of the

Memorial service this evening

 

3.

Here are the items we feel

Essential

For us to acquire

Of course

The collection will expand

Over time

 

  • A garden irrigation hose from the Settlement of Efrat
  • A dry Palestinian well from the Jordan Valley
  • White phosphorus spent shells from the streets of Gaza
  • Casino chips belonging to Sheldon Adelson
  • Hillary Clinton’s letter to Haim Saban
  • A keffiyeh bought from a market stall in Berlin
  • A Tel Aviv pharmaceutical advert for cancer drug treatment
  • A copy of the Palestinian Kairos document from East Jerusalem
  • A Jewish Voice for Peace Haggadah from California
  • ‘A Better Way than Boycotts’ booklet from the Board of Deputies of British Jews
  • Screen grabs of Palestinian Facebook incitement
  • Architect plans for the construction of the Third Temple
  • A kitchen knife from Hebron
  • A season ticket for Glasgow Celtic Football Club
  • A Gaza tunnel
  • A smart phone (any will do)
  • The bullet shot into the head of the wounded Abdel Fattah al-Sharif
  • Jackie Walker’s Momentum Membership card
  • A Qassam rocket launcher
  • A BASEL biometric scanner from the Bethlehem checkpoint
  • Ephriam Mirvis’ Op Ed for The Daily Telegraph from May 2016
  • An unread first edition of the Goldstone Report
  • The recorded testimonies of the crew of the Zaytouna-Oliva
  • The school competition speech by Leanne Mohamad
  • A Dolphin class submarine, with cruise missiles, and nuclear tipped warheads

Please email the Steering Committee

With suggestions for other artefacts

That will help us tell

Our modern story

 

4.

Finally, I must mention an anonymous donation

Received with restrictions for its use

Which we have

With reluctance

Accepted

As space in the extension is at a premium

 

The donor has specifically requested

That the money

be set aside for a small room

A prayer room

 

Our architect has found a space for its location

In a corner of the seventh fragment of the

Fractured mezuzah

Just in front of the new

Souvenir shop

For the Museum

Of Modern

Jewish Life

 

May our names be sealed in the Book of Life and may we all enjoy a sweet and healthy New Year

Shona Tovah!

 

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