In his early works, Luther discouraged mistreatment of the Jews and advocated their conversion by proving that the Old Testament could be shown to speak of Jesus Christ. As the Reformation continued, Luther lost hope in large-scale Jewish conversion to Christianity and grew more and more hostile toward the Jews.
Susannah Heschel will investigate how Abraham Geiger’s and Heinrich Graetz’s accounts of the origins of Christianity and Islam helped forge the cultural climate for German Jews. Through their pioneering studies, they sought not simply an assimilation into German culture and the German academic community for Jews, but something much more radical: a reconfiguration of the map of Western civilization.
Refugee, smuggler, resistant, intellectual. Even before the age of 21, Professor Justus Rosenberg had lived many lives. Sarah Wildman—author of a major profile of Professor Rosenberg for the New York Times and the celebrated memoir “Paper Love”—will speak to Rosenberg about his life and work.
Economic historian Harold James (Princeton) will talk about the methods and aftermath of the Nazi expropriation of Jews at a reception for the opening of an exhibition that traces the emblematic stories of five Jewish families in Berlin’s historic center.
Burning Words is a dramatization of the head-on collision between the humanist scholar Reuchlin and Pfefferkorn, a willing tool of the Dominican Order in their campaign against the Jews. Reuchlin accuses Pfefferkorn of betraying his people. Pfefferkorn accuses Reuchlin of selling his soul for a fistful of silver shekels. While it is a history play, Burning Words has a clear resonance with contemporary issues of a changing media landscape, censorship, fundamentalism, and tolerance.
German-born industrialist Stef Wertheimer discusses his exceptional new biography, “The Habit of Labor” (Overlook Press, 2015) with Jane Eisner, Editor-in-Chief of the Forward.
Dr. Eric R. Kandel will accept the Leo Baeck Medal during a special evening at the Center for Jewish History in New York. Dr. Kandel is a neuroscientist whose work on the molecular biology of memory opened new methods of inquiry into the study of brain and mind.
The Leo Baeck Institutes in New York and London sponsored the first international conference on the German-Jewish émigré theater director Kurt Hirschfeld in Zurich in March 2015. Now, LBI will reprise that successful program in New York City.
Michael Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor of Jewish History Emeritus at Hebrew Union College, will survey the history of German-speaking Jews and the Leo Baeck Institute’s efforts to document it in celebration of LBI’s 60th year.
A group of elite, cosmopolitan Jewish women played a central role in shaping the dynamic cultural world of late 18th-century Berlin. Sara Levy, an influential salon hostess and performing musician interacted with important composers and intellectuals of her day. Professors Nancy Sinkoff (Rutgers) and Christoph Wolff (Harvard) comment on Levy’s life and times and the music performed in this concert.
At age 98, director Arnon Goldfinger’s grandmother passed away, leaving him the task of clearing out the Tel Aviv flat that she and her husband shared for decades after immigrating from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sifting through a mountain of photos, letters, files, and objects, Goldfinger undertook the complex process of making sense of the accumulated ephemera of a lifetime.
The Wissenschaft des Judentums, launched by Jewish scholars in 19th century Germany, brought worldly disciplines like history, philology, and anthropology to bear on the sacred texts and rites of Judaism. This enterprise not only formed the basis of modern academic Jewish studies, but also shaped the manifold understanding and practice of Judaism as it exists today.
Dr. Josef Joffe will deliver the 57th annual Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at the Center for Jewish History, where he will be introduced by Dr. Henry Kissinger. Following the Lecture, Dr. Ronald B. Sobel, President of LBI, will present Dr. Joffe with the Leo Baeck Medal.
An event marking the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall Jewish life took different paths on either side of the Berlin Wall. In the East, Jews fled or faced East Germany’s anti-religion, anti-Zionist polices. In the West, Jews sought normalcy but lived “with packed suitcases.” A panel discussion featuring leading scholars and…
German Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas will discuss the research of an independent commission of historians appointed to investigate how the German Federal Justice Ministry dealt with the Nazi past in the early post-war period.