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Dr. Markus Krah

Markus Krah, Ph.D. became the John H. Slade Executive Director of the Leo Baeck Institute in October 2022. He brings to the leadership position his expertise as a scholar of modern Jewish history and his experience as a journalist covering German politics and society for more than 15 years. Most recently, he taught Jewish religious and intellectual history at University of Potsdam, Germany.

The Leo Baeck Institute is a research library and archive that documents the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry, primarily in the 19th and 20th centuries, but also including documents dating back to the middle ages. It was founded in 1955 as a repository for the books, papers, photos and documents that were salvaged from Central Europe after World War II and donated to the Institute. Dr. Krah succeeded Dr. William Weitzer, who retired as Executive Director after almost ten years.

Dr. Krah has taught a range of courses in modern Jewish history. At University of Potsdam, he was involved in the development of study programs, organized several academic and public conferences and lecture series, and created successful grant applications for research projects. He also edited PaRDeS, the journal of the Association for Jewish Studies in Germany. His own research focused on the East and Central European historical legacy in the American Jewish diaspora. His first book, based on his doctoral dissertation at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York, was American Jewry and the Re-Invention of the East European Jewish Past (2018). A subsequent project deals with the import of German-Jewish texts, authors, and ideas to the US by the transnational publishing house Schocken Books. Dr. Krah has held year-long postdoctoral appointments at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Prior to his academic career, Dr. Krah worked as a Berlin-based correspondent for the French wire service AFP and for Reuters, engaging government and parliamentary officials in Berlin with his reporting on political events in Germany. He has built on his journalistic experience by writing a monthly column on Jewish topics for a liberal Austrian weekly, as part of his commitment to bring questions of Jewish history and culture to broader audiences.