Since March of 2008, the permanent collection has been supplemented with a new special exhibition entitled "The Religion of the Mendelssohn Family". Many visitors had inquired about this aspect of the family"s history. Thanks to financial assistance from the Federal Ministry of Interior, a separate "thematic island" has now been added to cover this topic.
Using exhibits on loan from the Berlin State Library, the Neue Synagoge/Centrum Judaicum Foundation, and members of the Mendelssohn family, this special exhibition illustrates the different confessional paths taken by the succeeding generations and branches of the family. The "parable of the ring" made famous by playwright and philosopher Gottfried Ephraim Lessing, a friend of the family, serves as the subtext in chronicling the religious affiliations of the family: the search for the criteria making up the "true religion" and the question of how a new "religion", that of civic responsibility, was able to survive the dramatic vagaries of German-Jewish history.
Further details, please see "The Religion of the Mendelssohn Family", Catalogue.