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Wissenschaft des Judentums: Jewish Studies and the Shaping of Jewish Identity

Moritz Steinschneider writing at his desk

This exhibit shows that the early academic study of Judaism was directly motivated by the desire for the civil rights still denied Jews in Europe in the 19th century. Moreover, the “Wissenschaft des Judentums” would become the forum in which most of the competing visions for how Jews should exist within the larger society and how they should practice Judaism were articulated and advanced.

German Jews at the Eastern Front in WWI: Modernism Meets Tradition

The German Army marching into Neu Sendec during WWI. Bundesarchiv.

This exhibition documents the fascinating encounters between Jews serving in the German Army and the shtetl culture in Eastern Europe that informed new debates about assimilation, peoplehood, and religion during WWI.