LBI News

LBI News is the official newsletter of Leo Baeck Institute. It appears in print and online three times annually in Fall, Winter, and Spring. Click the image to download a PDF copy (6MB).

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LBI Opens Berlin Office

Dr. Miriam Bistrovic, LBI’s new representative in Berlin.

The office on Glinkastraße is the first step toward a more prominent role for the Leo Baeck Institute in making Germans more aware of the long and illustrious heritage we shared until 1933.

Documenting Jewish Life in East Germany

The gilded Moorish dome of the New Synagogue in Berlin, a symbol of resurgent
Jewish life in Germany and an iconic landmark in the nation’s vibrant capital.
Creative Commons Martin Biskoping

LBI is launching an initiative to document one of the least explored chapters of German-Jewish history: the contribution of German Jews to the foundation and development of East Germany.

Discovery in Romania

A Transylvanian landscape. 
Photo by Timothy Ryan Mendenhall.

Over the past six months, LBI has conducted a survey of Jewish-related archives in Bukovina and Transylvania, two formerly German-speaking regions of Romania. Julie Dawson, the LBI archivist who spearheaded the project, explains how a chance finding in an abandoned synagogue led to a project that will radically expand access to Jewish records in a little-studied area by cataloging long-hidden resources online.

Progress Filling Gaps in Frankfurt Wissenschaft des Judentums Collection

Rare book digitization.
Creative Commons Stanford University Library

LBI and the Frankfurt University Library have made significant progress in a joint effort to recreate a landmark collection of Judaica that was long believed to be permanently fragmented by World War II.

LBI Builds Digital Home for Émigré Journal “Aufbau”

The masthead and front page of the inaugural issue of "Aufbau", published 1934

Leo Baeck Institute has completed digitizing all issues of the German-Jewish émigré Journal, Aufbau published between 1934 and 2004, thus ensuring that the entire contents of the most important publication of the global German-Jewish refugee and exile community will remain available online to researchers.

Showdown at the Sterling Oval, 1942: Soccer Coverage in Aufbau

The youth team of the New World Club at the “Sterling Oval” in the Bronx, undated

In the 1930s and 1940s, a lively soccer culture was supported in the New York City area by immigrants from all over Europe, including Jewish refugees from Germany. Fans who craved the latest on Jewish teams like the New World Club, Hakoah New York, and Maccabi would find it in the pages of Aufbau.

“Aufbau” – Reconstruction as a Mission

The masthead on the inaugural issue of Aufbau.

Aufbau shuttered its New York offices in August 2004, but the paper’s story did not end there. The Swiss company JM Jüdische Medien AG acquired the paper and re-launched it as a monthly magazine a year later. JM Jüdische Medien’s US Editor, Andreas Mink, reflects on the history of the paper and its journey back to…

An Intellectual Resistance

Manfred George became Editor of Aufbau in 1939.

Language is the very essence of identity and culture; it is the “raison d’être” for a writer, who uses the power that comes with the command of language to act as the conscience of society. The Nazis abused the German language for their political goals and especially their propaganda, but Aufbau has used it to advocate for German-Jewish concerns until the present day.

Teaching Research Skills and German-Jewish History with DigiBaeck

Shira Klein is Assistant Professor of History at Chapman University in Orange County, California

With the launch of LBI’s digital archive, historian Shira Klein immediately recognized a new tool for engaging undergraduates in original research using primary sources. We asked her about her experience using DigiBaeck in the classroom.

Harry Ettlinger and Otto Oppenheimer: Story of a Monuments Man

The author (l.) with Harry Ettlinger (c.) and Jochen Wolf at the Center for Jewish
History, August 2010. Courtesy Jochen Wolf.

In 2011 LBI helped a town in Germany honor its Jewish past and connect with one of its native sons, Harry Ettlinger. Now Ettlinger’s military service during WWII is the subject of an upcoming major motion picture. Those who want the full story will find it in the LBI archives. By Michael Simonson Like many…

2012/2013 Fellows

Moritz Steinschneider writing at his desk

LBI New York continues to support new scholarship in German- Jewish History during 2012–2013 through the administration of the following grants and fellowships. David Baumgardt Memorial Fellowship: This fellowship provides financial assistance to scholars whose research projects are connected with the writing of Professor David Baumgardt or his scholarly interests, including Ethics, Wissenschaft des Judentums…

Art: Lotka Burešová and her Terezín Friends

"Calm and prudence—breathe deeply!" reads the Czech inscription on
this drawing by Lotka Burešová. Franz Feigl Collection AR 5269

Anna Hájková, a scholar of the Theresienstadt Ghetto, describes how the discovery of a small watercolor painted there in 1944 led to insights into the cultural dynamics of the ghetto’s transnational enforced community.

Library: Sparrow Makes her Way

Samson, Meta and L. Szkolny (illus). Spatz macht sich. Berlin: Jüdischer Buchverlag, 1938.

“Wishing that you may make your own way just like this ‘sparrow.’ Love, Evi, your Aunt Becker. Cologne, Rosh Hashanah 5699,” reads the inscription in this slender volume. The sparrow (in German, “Spatz”) in the inscription refers to the title character of the book, Spatz Macht Sich (Sparrow Makes her Way). This children’s novel by…

Archives: Hoerlin Collection Combines Intrigue, Alpinism, and Physics

Folders from the Hoerlin collection. Visible are correspondence between Käte and Hermann Hoerlin, Herman Hoerlin’s reports on the observation of nuclear tests from space, and a hand-drawn map of a region in Germany. AR 25540

The Kate and Herman Hoerlin Collection, recently added to the LBI Archives, contains the papers of a couple whose lives took a dramatic course shaped by events as diverse as the Rohm Putsch, a German expedition in the Himalayas, and US nuclear testing in Los Alamos. Kate Tietz was born to a Jewish family but…