Being Danish

The increased participation in and identification with Danish society understandably brought many Danish Jews into conflict with the traditional Jewish way of life. The writer Henri Nathansen describes the conflict in his popular play: Inden for Murene "Within the walls" from 1912. The play illustrates how traditional Jewish life met modern society with all its demands.

The play is still popular and often revived. Social or economic success often meant that old Danish Jewish families were suddenly faced with a one-way ticket out of their traditional Jewish life. Entertainment followed Danish bourgeois trends and meant a breach with traditional kosher meals - suddenly lobster and seafood were on the menu. Marriage was now a question of free choice, which meant that the number of mixed marriages sky-rocketed. Parents could send their children to public schools, schools that taught little or no Hebrew or Jewish tradition and lore. There did exist a Jewish Sunday School, though, that taught public school children religion and Hebrew.

"Within and beyond the walls"

"Within and beyond the walls" is a reference to Nathansen's play as well as a sentence that covers the duality problems experienced by people who truly belong to two cultures. Many Jews were intensely affected by nineteenth century bourgeois norms that brought them beyond the walls - summer country residences, trips abroad, entertainment and business.

Space and spaciousness

- an exhibition about Jews in Denmark

The exhibition is a broad story of Jewish life in Denmark and focuses on co-exixstence and indentity through 400 years. Read more...

Openings hours

September - May:
Tuesday - Friday: 13 - 16
Saturday - Sunday: 12 - 17
Monday closed

June - August
Tuesday - Sunday: 10-17
Monday closed