Newsletter

LBI News No. 103 | Spring 2017

In this issue of LBI News, we report about a new cooperation between the Getty Research Institute in California and the LBI. Julie Dawson gives insight into the developments of her archival project in Romania, where she has found important yet unprocessed information in Jewish community archives. We look back on the award of the Leo Baeck Medal to Robert M. Morgenthau in November 2016 and introduce the 2017 awardees of the Obermayer German Jewish History Awards as well as the Gerald Westheimer Career Development Fellows 2016/17. LBI archivist Michael Simonson traces the story of fellow archivist Jacob Jacobson whose survival of the Nazi persecution is closely linked with the survival of the largest and most-used collection in the LBI archives; plus, you will learn how the Jacob Jacobson Collection is used in research today. Finally, film scholar Noah Isenberg talks about the research for his latest book, which sheds light on the central role Jewish refugees played in the production of the classic film Casablanca.

Film Scholar Noah Isenberg Will Always Have Casablanca

Noah Isenberg, director of screen studies at The New School and a member of the LBI’s Academic Advisory Board, is the author of a new history of the iconic film Casablanca that focuses on the role of refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe in the making of the film. LBI News spoke to Isenberg about his research.

Listening to Records—The Jacob Jacobson Collection in Research

Jordan Katz, a fellow at the Center for Jewish History and a member of the Leo Baeck Fellowship Programme in 2016–2017, has been making use of the Jacob Jacobson Collection at the LBI for her doctoral research. The fourth-year Ph.D. student in Early Modern Jewish history at Columbia University explores the role of Jewish “wise women” and midwives in communities in the early modern Ashkenazic world.

Gerald Westheimer Career Development Fellows 2016

Thanks to the generosity of Professor Gerald Westheimer, the 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. The LBI is proud to introduce Verena Buser and Nick Block as the Gerald Westheimer Career Development Fellows for 2016–2017.

Art Books From LBI Collections Now Available Through Getty Research Portal

Art books from the LBI collections are now available through the Getty Research Portal. The new partnership is aimed at increasing public exposure to digitized illustrated books and artists’ portfolios in the LBI’s collections that may not be available anywhere else.

Survey of Romanian Archives Shifts Focus to Jewish Community Records

A survey of archival material related to the Jewish history of Transylvania and Bukovina will begin a new chapter based on important discoveries by project director Julie Dawson, who found rich unprocessed information in Jewish community archives.

Leo Baeck Medal for Robert M. Morgenthau

At the LBI’s Annual Award Dinner on November 17, 2016 at the Center for Jewish History, friends, family, and colleagues gathered to honor Robert M. Morgenthau with the Leo Baeck Medal for a lifetime of public service. Director Emeritus of the Museum of Jewish Heritage David Marwell offered an appreciation that began with the Morgenthau family’s German-Jewish roots and encompassed the family’s century-long tradition of public service, including Robert Morgenthau’s legendary career as a prosecutor who used the law to protect the vulnerable and hold power to account. As Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, David Marwell worked closely with the museum’s Founding Chairman, Robert Morgenthau, on a major expansion in 2003. On the occasion of the award of the Leo Baeck Medal to Morgenthau, he reflected on aspects of Morgenthau’s life, work and personality.

2017 Obermayer Award Winners

At the Berlin city parliament building in January 2017, six non-Jewish German individuals or groups were presented the Obermayer German Jewish History Award for their efforts to preserve and document German-Jewish history. The LBI congratulates the winners on this richly deserved honor.

Research, Exploitation, and Survival: The Story of Jacob Jacobson, a Jewish Archivist in Nazi Germany

One of the largest and most-used collections in the LBI archives is named for a little known historian and archivist who, like Leo Baeck, survive Theresienstadt. The Jacob Jacobson Collection spans 16 feet of archival boxes plus oversized materials, encompassing birth, death, marriage, and circumcision registers dating back as far as 1671. How could this enormous body of materials survive the Nazi period?

In Memoriam: Arnold Paucker

The Leo Baeck Institute, New York|Berlin mourns the loss of historian Arnold Paucker, who led the Leo Baeck Institute London from 1959 until 2001. Paucker was editor of the Leo Baeck Institute Year Book from 1978 until 1992 and a highly respected scholar whose academic work focused on Jewish resistance to the Nazis. He died in October, 2016.