The Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin honors individuals for extraordinary efforts to preserve the memory of German-Jewish history with two awards and a lecture series in memory of Leo Baeck.
Leo Baeck Medal
The medal is the highest recognition the Leo Baeck Institute can bestow upon those who have supported our mission of preserving the extraordinary spirit of German-speaking Jewry in the cultural realm, academia, politics, and philanthropy.
On the front of the Leo Baeck Medal is an image of Rabbi Leo Baeck, (1873–1956), and the words, “Leader of German Jewry.” On the reverse, the words are, “so that the memory of a great past may not perish.”
Moses Mendelssohn Award
Moses Mendelssohn, the “Socrates of Berlin,” was one of the most famous Jews of his age and the leading figure in the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment. His philosophical project of reconciling Enlightenment principles with Jewish tradition and his support for secular education for Jews paved the way for modern Jewish Studies to emerge in the 19th century Wissenschaft des Judentums movement. The Moses Mendelssohn Award honors scholars who have made major contributions to our understanding of German-Jewish History.
Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture
Founded in memory of Leo Baeck after his passing in 1956, the Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture is given each year by a leading scholar or public intellectual whose work touches on the history of German-speaking Jews.