Recently, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage announced that it had updated its logo. As part of this new graphic presence, we have adopted an abbreviated name. The museum is also currently exploring ways to rejuvenate and revamp its exhibits, with a bigger role for its well-established Stop the Hate program. Periodic review and revitalization is essential and normal for museums, which must periodically dust off their exhibits, update their media and technology, and revamp their facilities to meet the needs of the community and the tenor of the times.
Current graphic changes mean that the museum refreshes our appearance. These changes do not mean that we change our mission or our message. And that certainly doesn’t mean it will be any less focused on its core commitment to celebrating, preserving and promoting Jewish heritage.
The updated logo design shortens the museum name from the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage to the simpler and clearer Maltz Museum. Does this shortened name mean he no longer explores and celebrates Jewish heritage? No way. Quite the contrary: this change and the changes to come reflect a determination to more effectively bring our uniquely Jewish perspective and our powerful stories to new audiences and a new generation of visitors.
In 2016, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York replaced its more cumbersome five-word logo by simply becoming: The Met. Abandoning the term “Art Museum” did not mean that he was throwing away his Picassos or his Greek pottery or that he was abandoning his sculpture rooms. The Met created a simpler logo and shorter name to nurture a more welcoming personality in tune with the times. The rebranding of the Maltz Museum has similar goals.
The mission of the Maltz Museum has always been to celebrate the Jewish experience. It tells a Jewish story, but it is a museum for people of all backgrounds and faiths. Anti-Semitic crimes and other hate crimes are on the alarming increase. For the Jews, this is a story we have seen before and we know the dangers it entails.
We spotlight the individuals and institutions that have tirelessly fought anti-Semitism, finding creative ways to preserve our unique identity and values while adapting to, and even thriving in, the wider culture. These are themes that speak to everyone, Jews and non-Jews, and which may have particular resonance for other marginalized groups. And it’s a voice we need more than ever.
In the years to come, the Maltz Museum plans to greatly expand its exploration of the Holocaust, using this horrific experience as a powerful lesson highlighting the dangers of leaving hatred unchallenged. The Maltz Museum will remain deeply rooted in Jewish values, traditions and teachings. Jewish heritage remains at the core of who we are, and the museum will continue to weave it through every aspect of our existence – both implicitly and explicitly – as we have since our opening in 2005. We will simply grow our foundation by supplementing the current narrative with additional stories, enhancing them with the latest media technology.
The promotion of respect for all humanity and the denunciation of hatred are deeply rooted in Jewish tradition, from Rabbi Hillel’s famous summary of the Golden Rule to the simple eloquence of Psalm 133, “Hinei ma tov u’ma na’im shevet achim gam yachad – See how good and pleasant it is when all people live together as one.
The Maltz Museum looks forward to joining our allies and warmly welcoming new friends to ensure that our Jewish Heritage Museum continues to meet the needs of all.
Grant Dinner is the Chairman of the Board of the Maltz Museum at Beachwood and David Schafer is the Managing Director.