People

Genealogy Success Stories

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LBI and the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History (CJH) asked researchers to share their stories of discoveries made in LBI collections. The following submissions were presented at the meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York at the CJH in May, 2016 along with the books and original documents that helped these family historians add branches to their family trees.

In Memoriam: Ernest W. Michel

Ernest W. Michel

It is with sadness that LBI mourns the passing of Ernest W. Michel, a longtime Board Member and supporter of the Leo Baeck Institute.

In Memoriam: Fritz Stern

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LBI mourns the loss of Fritz Stern, whose probing scholarship on Germany in the 19TH and 20TH centuries helped explain the rise of National Socialism and the multi-faceted relationship between Germans and Jews.

Between Memory and Oblivion—The Jewish Cemeteries in Vienna

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By Tim Corbett: Vienna’s Jewish cemeteries are the most profound memorials to the long but anfractuous history of Jewish life, culture, and community surviving in the present cityscape. Vienna is today regarded as one of the cradles of modern culture, and the role of Jews in the genesis of Viennese culture has been the focus of intense interest in recent decades. Vienna’s Jewish cemeteries testify to the profound enmeshment but also the conflicts of Jewish life within Viennese society reaching from the Middle Ages right into the present day.

2015 Gerald Westheimer Fellows

Gerald Westheimer

Thanks to the generosity of Professor Gerald Westheimer, LBI supports fellowships for scholars who are early in their careers to pursue research on the social, cultural, and academic aspects of the life of Jews in German-speaking countries between the time of Moses Mendelssohn and the Third Reich and its aftermath. LBI is proud to introduce the Gerald Westheimer Career Development Fellows for 2015–2016 and their projects.

Germany Honors Ronald B. Sobel

Consul General Brita Wagener and Rabbi Dr. Ronald B. Sobel, president of the Leo Baeck Institute (© Christophe Avril)

On October 7, 2015, Ronald B. Sobel, president of the Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin, was presented with the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Consul General Brita Wagener.

Arthur Obermayer Honored those who Honor Jewish Memory in Germany

Marlis Glaser, Portrait of Dr. Arthur S. Obermayer, oil on canvas, 2015. Photograph courtesy of Karl Branz, Attenweiler.

On January 10, 2016, Arthur S. Obermayer passed away. Obermayer, an entrepreneur and philanthropist based in the Boston area, had dedicated the later years of his life to strengthening and honoring German-Jewish relations. In 2000, he founded the Obermayer German-Jewish History Awards.

In Memoriam: Hans George Hirsch

Manuscript of a speech held by Hans George Hirsch in honor of his father, Otto Hirsch, held in Stuttgart at the father's 100th birthday in 1985.

Hans George Hirsch, longtime member of the Board of the Leo Baeck Institute, died on December 15, 2015. In the words of William H. Weitzer, Hirsch had been “a bedrock supporter and advisor to the LBI.” Hirsch was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1916.

Moses Mendelssohn Award for Michael A. Meyer

Michael Meyer (c) with Ronald B. Sobel and Joan C. Lessing

As the Leo Baeck Institute celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015, LBI president Ronald B. Sobel and board member Joan C. Lessing presented the Moses Mendelssohn Award to historian Michael A. Meyer for his scholarly achievements.

Carol Kahn Strauss Thanked for Two Decades of Leadership

Carol Kahn Strauss

At the Annual Award Dinner, LBI President Ronald B. Sobel recognized former International Director Carol Kahn Strauss, who retired at the end of 2015 after 21 years of service.