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Jewish Museum Vienna awards the Max and Trude Berger Prize

Apr 1, 2022 | JMW News

The Jewish Museum Vienna awarded the Max and Trude Berger Prize for outstanding services to the museum. The winners are Christiane Wenckheim, Erwin Javor, Chief Rabbi Paul Chaim Eisenberg and the Brauer family.

Christiane Wenckheim, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board of the Ottakringer Brewery, has been supporting the Jewish Museum Vienna for years. Through her contribution, the educational offer for children in the new permanent exhibition Our Medieval City! at the Museum Judenplatz could be implemented last year. Erwin Javor is also a long-time patron of the museum. He is the editor of The Brauer Haggadah and thanks to him the digital presentation of Margit Dobronyi’s photographic archive in the permanent exhibition Our City! in the atrium of the Museum Dorotheergasse could be implemented. Chief Rabbi Paul Chaim Eisenberg has long accompanied the Jewish Museum Vienna and thus enabled various events to be carried out, e.g., the Vienna Jewish New Year’s Concert, candle lighting at Hanukkah or “Ask the Rabbi.” Friends of the museum for many years, the Brauer family have provided their support during several exhibitions. A sculpture by Arik Brauer was donated just last year and can be seen by visitors in the Visible Storage.

“It is a symbolic thank you to people who support the Jewish Museum Vienna and is also intended to honor the memory of Max Berger, the co-founder of the Jewish Museum, and his wife Trude. The prizewinners receive this award because they have significantly promoted the program of the Jewish Museum Vienna in exhibitions, events or in the field of education in recent years and thus contributed to the success of the institution,” said director Danielle Spera.

In addition to the laudators Mariann Wenckheim, Oscar Bronner and Roman Grinberg, high-profile guests such as former Federal Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein were present.
The Max and Trude Berger Prize for outstanding services to the Jewish Museum Vienna was named after the collectors Max and Trude Berger and was first awarded to Hannah Lessing and Stefan Stolizka in 2016. Edmund de Waal, the 2018 award winner, chose the Jewish Museum Vienna from among all the museums in the world to donate the Ephrussi Archive.
Max Berger, who was the only member of his family to survive the Shoah, began collecting Jewish cultural artifacts from Central and Eastern Europe in late 1950s. His aim was to save the objects from being misused and he was also concerned with reconstructing the destroyed world of his childhood and his ancestors. Today his collection can be seen at the Jewish Museum Vienna at the Museum Dorotheergasse.