LBI News

Esriel Hildesheimer (1820 – 1899)

Esriel Hildesheimer (1820 – 1899)

Hildesheimer believed strongly in the principle of Torah im derekh erez (Torah and worldly knowledge): that halakhic observance was not only compatible with the study of science and other secular subjects, but that both were necessary to recognize and become close to God.

Zacharias Frankel (1801 – 1875)

Zacharias Frankel (1801 – 1875)

Zacharias Frankel was one of the leading advocates for Conservative Judaism in Germany. As a proponent of “positive historical Judaism” he held that Reform Judaism ignored the national component of Judaism and focused mainly on its intellectual aspects.

Abraham Geiger (1810 – 1874)

Abraham Geiger (1810 – 18

One of the leading figures of the Reform Judaism movement, Abraham Geiger believed that Judaism was not a given quantity or a national law but a process still in flux; tradition itself was the result of this continuous process of growth.

Leopold Zunz (1794 – 1886)

In December 1817, Leopold Zunz, an instructor at a Jewish school in Wolfenbüttel, wrote an essay entitled Etwas über die Rabbinische Litteratur (“On Rabinnical Literature”). This little book marks an epoch in the history of modern Jewish scholarship.

Gerald Westheimer: A Vision for Scholarship on German-Jewish History

Gerald Westheimer on his first day of school in Berlin at the age of six and at his home in Berkeley, California in 2015.

Gerald Westheimer, born 1924 in Berlin, established the Gerald Westheimer Career Development Fellowship in 2008 to support scholarship on the history and culture of German-speaking Jews by offering financial support to recent PhDs early in their faculty careers.

Michael Brenner Recognized as “Guardian of Jewish History”

Michael Brenner (l) with German Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas. Photo, Emily Andresini.

On November 19, 2015 at the Center for Jewish History, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas presented LBI International President Michael Brenner with the Federal Order of Merit, (Verdienstkreuz am Bande) praising the historian as a guardian of Jewish history and an important supporter of Jewish life in Germany and worldwide.

Understanding through Cooperation: Germany Honors Carol Kahn Strauss

Carol Kahn Strauss (c) with her husband, Peter Strauss, and German Consul General Brita Wagener. Photo, Celia Rogge.

On January 20, 2015, LBI International Director Carol Kahn Strauss was presented the Commander´s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Consul General Brita Wagener. The decoration was awarded in appreciation of her outstanding accomplishments and commitment to German-American-Jewish relations for more than two decades.

Leo Baeck Medal for Josef Joffe

Josef Joffe (r) with Henry Kissinger. Photo by Christina Domingues.

The German journalist accepted the honor at LBI’s Annual Award Dinner at the Center for Jewish History on December 3, 2014 and delivered the 57th Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture, in which he weighed the possibility that a new golden age of German-Jewry might arise again.

New Gift to Support Pilot Projects in Transcription and Photograph Digitization

This handwritten diary from the 18TH century is typical of documents that could be transcribed under a new program. Photo, Jon Pack.

LBI will launch pilot projects aimed at improving access to and discovery of two classes of materials in LBI archives that are rich in information but too often hidden from researchers: handwritten manuscripts and photographs.

Family Matters: In Chicago, Generations Gather for Intimate Look at Family Histories Preserved in LBI Archives

Marianne Dreyfus, the granddaughter of Leo Baeck, discusses her family’s history during an LBI event October, 2014 in Chicago

LBI convened genealogists, friends, and family of two Chicagoans with German-Jewish roots for a discussion that connected individual and family narratives to the historical context of Jewish life in Germany before 1933, during the Holocaust, and today.