SAN FRANCISCO, US - The Jewish museum that opened in San Francisco earlier this month is unlike almost every other such institution in the world: It is a light-filled place focused on the future, not the darkness of the past.
The Contemporary Jewish Museum does not contain permanent space dedicated to remembering the Holocaust, housing Jewish artefacts or recording the genealogy of the Jewish diaspora.
Instead, it is a fresh, happy site that asks the Jewish people to create new expressions of who they are, in a city where Jews have always thrived.
"This is a museum of life," said the museum's director Connie Wolf. "It's not that we aren't embracing the Holocaust, that incredibly important and pivotal moment in world history. We just always want to be thinking about other issues as well."
The new building is designed by Daniel Libeskind, who said working in San Francisco allowed him to take a new approach to Jewish museums.
He designed Berlin's Jewish Museum, where visitors are asked to acknowledge that the horror of Jewish and German histories are linked forever.
However, the San Francisco building is designed to resemble two letters in the Yiddish word for "life?"
"Despite all the things that have happened, life is about celebrating," said Libeskind. "This museum is not in the shadow of the history that will always be part of Europe. The optimism of this museum and America are intertwined." --Reuters