About us

History

The Jewish Muse­um of Switz­er­land was ope­ned in 1966 as the first Jewish Muse­um in the Ger­man-spea­king world after the Second World War.

The initia­ti­ve came from mem­bers of Espé­rance (a chev­ra kadi­sha; fun­e­ral socie­ty) who visi­ted Colo­gne to see the exhi­bi­ti­on «Monu­men­ta Judai­ca» in 1963/64. They dis­co­ver­ed that many of the ritu­al objects on dis­play came from the Basel Judai­ca coll­ec­tion and deci­ded to pre­sent the­se objects per­ma­nent­ly in a Jewish muse­um in Basel.

When it first ope­ned, the muse­um occu­p­ied two rooms at Korn­haus­gas­se 8. The inte­ri­or desi­gner Chris­toph Ber­noul­li fur­nis­hed the space.

The foun­ding direc­tor, Dr. Katia Guth-Drey­fus, hea­ded the muse­um for four deca­des. In 2010 she was suc­cee­ded by Dr. Gaby Knoch-Mund. In 2015, Dr. Nao­mi Lubrich took over as direc­tor of the Jewish Muse­um of Switzerland.

 

The Jewish Museum of Switzerland in 1966

Board

The Board of the Jewish Muse­um of Switz­er­land is respon­si­ble for its stra­te­gic and finan­cial development.

Nadia Guth Biasini
Pre­si­dent

Chris­ti­ne Wirz-von Planta
Vice President

Valé­rie Arato
Dele­ga­te SIG

Ursi­na Baumgartner-Tramèr

Dr. Chris­toph Degen

Dr. David Jeselsohn

Jean-Pierre Kugel­mann

Simon Olstein

David Sta­ehe­lin

Nadia Guth Biasini

Patronage

The fol­lo­wing nota­ble figu­res are repre­sen­ted on the Patro­na­ge Com­mit­tee and sup­port the Jewish Museum’s relo­ca­ti­on plans:

Prof. Dr. René Bloch
Jewish Stu­dies, Uni­ver­si­ty of Bern

Bri­git­te Bos-Portmann
Chris­ti­an-Jewish Working Group in Switz­er­land, Laufen

Mar­ti­ne Brun­sch­wig Graf
Ex Natio­nal Coun­cil­lor LDP, Geneva

Joël Dicker
Wri­ter, Geneva

Prof. em. Roger Diener
Archi­tect, Basel 

Dr. Chris­toph Eymann
Natio­nal Coun­cil­lor LDP, Basel

Dr. Ralph Friedländer
Vice Pre­si­dent SIG and DFA, Bern

Prof. Dr. David Goldblum
CMO Pal­las Kli­ni­ken, Bern

Dr. Josef Helfenstein
For­mer Direc­tor, Art Muse­um of Basel

Dr. Eva Herzog
Mem­ber of the Coun­cil of Sta­tes SP, Basel

Jacob Keidar
For­mer Israe­li Ambassa­dor to Switzerland

Patri­cia Kopatchinskaja
Vio­li­nist and com­po­ser, Bern

Yves Kugel­mann
Publi­cist, Basel

Prof. Dr. Lukas Kundert
Theo­lo­gi­an, Pre­si­dent of the Church Coun­cil of the Evan­ge­li­cal Refor­med Church Basel-City

Renée Levi
Artist, Basel

Anne Lévy
Direc­tor Gene­ral, Fede­ral Office of Public Health, Bern

Max Moor
Wri­ter and Jour­na­list, Brandenburg

Dr. Tho­mas von Planta
Baloi­se, Zurich and Basel

Prof. Ste­phan Schmidt
Direc­tor, Music Aca­de­my Basel/Hochschule für Musik FHNW

Prof. Dr. Emi­le Schrijver
Direc­tor Gene­ral, Joods Cul­tu­re­el Kwar­tier, Amsterdam

Deni­se Tonella
Direc­tor, Swiss Natio­nal Muse­um, Zurich

Petra B. Volpe
Screen­wri­ter and direc­tor, Ber­lin and New York

Dr. Nina Zimmer
Direc­tor, Muse­um of Fine Arts Bern and Zen­trum Paul Klee

Annual reports

Team

Biography

Visitor Service

Artiom Istomin Mail

Biography

When you enter the museum, you’ll see me behind the counter. I am the newest member of the museum team, since 2023. My job is to welcome visitors and coordinate guided tours. I received my business administration degree in Kyiv, Ukraine. Throughout my professional life, I have been involved in services. When Russia attacked Ukraine, I ended up in the wonderful city of Basel.

Biography

Collection

Christina Meri Mail

Biography

...coming soon.

Biography

Graphicdesign & Communication

Elwira Spychalska Mail

Biography

I am responsible for communication and event-organization at the Jewish Museum of Switzerland. I study art history and English at the University of Basel.

Barbara Häne

Biography

Research

Dr. Barbara Häne Mail

Biography

I was raised in Basel in the 1980s. After working in nursing for several years, I completed a degree in history and Jewish studies at the University of Basel. My research focused mainly on the history of Jews in Switzerland. My doctoral dissertation studied helpers and Jewish refugees in Switzerland between 1935 and 1955, based on the biography of Otto H. Heim. I have been working at the Jewish Museum of Switzerland since February 2021. An early bird, I am always the first in the office.

Naomi Lubrich

Biography

Directorate

Dr. Naomi Lubrich Mail

Biography

I am the director of the Jewish Museum of Switzerland. Born in Toronto in 1976, I studied literature and art history in New York and Berlin, specializing in Jewish studies and costume history. I worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Jewish Museum Berlin. I love Basel’s museums and its location at the border of France and Germany – and the chocolate. I also love to write books, interviews and articles.

Biography

Guide

Louise Gillman Mail

Biography

As a freelance tour guide and artist, I support the museum with a variety of tasks, including guided tours, translations and making the museum's collection available on Wikipedia.
Born in the UK into a French-English family, I studied cultural anthropology at the University of Freiburg in Germany and have since been very active in the cultural sector of the border triangle.

Illustrations
© Marva Gradwohl, 2021