Why This Exhibition?
"BEYOND THE PALE" refers to the provinces in Russia where Jews were forced to live during the 18th and 19th centuries, called "The Pale of Settlement."
PREJUDICES AGAINST OTHER CULTURES and people have existed for a long time and continue to exist. They are mostly based on ignorance. Some prejudices are innocent, but others are vicious. They can lead to oppression and persecution.

Few groups in history have encountered more prejudice than the Jews. In Europe, the hatred of Jews has its origins in Christianity, a religion rooted in Judaism. For centuries, the Jews were the only religious minority in Christian Europe, often misunderstood and eyed with suspicion by the population, suppressed by the Church and exploited by the rulers. Religious intolerance led to discrimination and isolation. A climate developed in which many legends and myths about Jews and Judaism seemed credible. Some are still believed today. But despite of persecution and discrimination, Jewish communities kept their religious, their social and cultural traditions alive.

This exhibition depicts the history of anti-Jewish attitudes -- and of anti-Semitism today, a form of intolerance that in our century caused the death of millions of people. The exhibition also portrays the history of Jews in Europe and in Russia to help understand their life, religion and culture. But above all, the exhibition wants to warn of the great dangers of prejudice and intolerance, particularly in times of political uncertainty and increased social tension.

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