About the museum

In 1928, a group of individuals interested in Jewish history and culture gathered for the first time with the intent of creating a Jewish museum in Munich. The project lay dormant until it was revived almost two decades after the Shoah, by Hans Lamm, longtime head of the Jewish community. Though Lamm was not able to realize the goal of creating the museum, the ambitious efforts of a private gallery owner in the 1980s gave the project its decisive momentum.

It is thanks to this individual, Richard Grimm, that the Jewish Museum is existing. Grimm decided to open a private Jewish museum in a small space on Maximilianstraße, measuring little more than 300 square feet and despite these cramped quarters, the collection soon enjoyed enormous popularity. As a rare source of Jewish history and culture in Munich, Grimm’s highly frequented museum made the need for a larger, public institution apparent. When the temporary museum closed for financial reasons ten years later, the Jewish community took in the Grimm Collection and arranged for a provisional exhibition space at Reichenbachstraße 27. In recent years, the Museum of the City of Munich presented exhibitions and events there in collaboration with the City Archives, ending in the spring of 2006. The opportunity for creating a Jewish Museum as a municipal project finally presented itself when the Jewish community decided to build its new main synagogue and community center at St.-Jakobs-Platz.

Even as it opened in 2007, the Jewish Museum Munich looked back on a long, colorful prehistory. Its collection is not a systematic one, governed instead by the fragmentary nature of its Jewish history holdings and by a chance assembly of objects. The Jewish Museum takes advantage of the resulting avenues of possibility by presenting temporary and changing exhibitions. Our goal is to function as a flexible and dynamic forum where a variety of themes can be explored.

On our three exhibition floors, visitors gain a world of insights into Jewish life and culture in Munich. A special section geared towards young as well as adult audiences provides in-depth information on Jewish history and religion. On each gallery floor there will be a study area – Learning Center or Library – where visitors can explore issues of interest and find answers to their questions.