Anja Siegemund, has been director of the New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum Foundation since 2015. Previously, she served as director of the Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem for the History of German speaking Jewry from 2009 to 2015. She is a historian specializing in German-Jewish history in the 20th century, with German Zionism, oral history (interviews with contemporary witnesses) and cultures of remembrance. Her most recent publication as editor was composed in collaboration with Michael Wildt: Gedächtnis aus den Quellen. Zur jüdischen Geschichte Berlins. Hermann Simon zu Ehren, Berlin 2021.
With its architecture symbolizing a self-understanding of the community as being equally German, “Berliner”, and Jewish, the New Synagogue Berlin has always reflected the struggles for a multi-layered identity – in inner-Jewish discussions as well as in its relation to the surrounding city and society. Our museum is situated inside of the remains of a former synagogue that is once again a religious and cultural focal point of a thriving Jewish community, making it a place that is historically and contemporarily authentic. Because of that, we are and want to continue being a meeting point for all of those who want to discover Jewish Berlin both in history and in the present, a bridge between Jewish and non-Jewish communities in the city, and a place of learning where the sharing of cultural knowledge encourages remembrance and reflection in a manner that is relevant today.