Musée Juif de Belgique / Joods museum van België

  • Jewish Museum of Belgium
  • MJB

History

The project to establish a Jewish museum in Belgium was born in the late 1970s as part of 150th birthday of Belgium. A group linked to the Consistory, chaired by Baron Jean Bloch, organised an exhibition about 150 years of Belgian Judaism. The success of that show led the organizers to create an art and history museum of the Belgian Judaism.

The association Pro Museo Judaico was established in 1981 with the first objective to preserve and promoting the socio-cultural heritage of the Jewish community in Belgium and to collection of evidence of its past. In 1989 a team of researchers settled in at 74 Avenue de Stalingrad, above the Beth Israel synagogue. They introduced thirty exhibitions in parallel with the permanent exhibition. In 1999, the Belgian government conceded the Jewish Museum a group of buildings near the Sablon. The Museum was established in 2005 at 21 rue des Minimes in a spacious building in the heart of the historic district of the capital.

Archival and Other Holdings

The Jewish Museum of Belgium’s Archive manages nearly 300 linear metres of documents. The Archives cover the period from the 19th century to the present day. These are essentially private collections (of which there are several hundred, including the collections of the Errera, Kahlenberg, Levi, Lounsky Katz and Suzy Falk families), the archives of Jewish associations (including the Arbeter Ring, Jewish Solidarity, the Palestinian Office and those of Scout units) and documents relating to the Museum. The "Register of Jews", deposited in the Museum by the Jewish Social Service, warrants particular attention: its 45,000 records have been digitised by the former Jewish Museum of Deportation and Resistance (now Kazerne Dossin) in Mechelen and a database allows users to easily search through the 56,000 registered people.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Opening Times

The MJB is open on Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sources

  • Jewish museum of Belgium website consulted on 18/07/2019

  • Pierre-Alain Tallier (dir.), Gertjan Desmet & Pascale Falek-Alhadeff, Sources pour l'histoire des populations juives et du judaïsme en Belgique/Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België, 19de-21ste eeuw, Brussel, ARA-AGR/Avant-Propos, 2016, 1,328 p.