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.

Conferences in Germany 2016: “1938: Forced Migration and Flight” and “Jews in the GDR”

11/10/88 Berlin: Groundbreaking Ceremony with Erich Honecker for the reconstruction of the new Synagogue Berlin, which was defiled in the pogrom ("The Night of Broken Glass") and later destroyed.

LBI co-sponsored two conferences in Germany in fall 2016: The conferences in Leipzig and Berlin took a fresh look at two chapters of German Jewish history—forced migration, specifically in the year of 1938, and Jewish life in the GDR.

“We have wandered together a long, long way”—The Hans and Eleonore Jonas Collection

The archival collection contains a number of sketches by Hans Jonas, including this undated self-portrait.

In summer 2016, Ayalah Jonas, the daughter of the philosopher Hans Jonas, donated part of her parents’ library and personal papers to the LBI. The archival collection contains unpublished manuscripts, poems, and drawings by the philosopher Hans Jonas (1903–1993) as well as documents related to the history of the family and a circle of friends including Hannah Arendt.

History by the Foot: Processing Archival Collections at the LBI

Each picture or letter is a fragment of a personal story that can be placed within an archival mosaic that depicts a momentous chapter in global history.

It is not unusual for suitcases, banker’s boxes, and even plastic bags containing historical material to be opened for the first time in decades at the LBI. With this article, we take you on a short trip alongside two such suitcases. Adventures in archival processing await!

A Voice Still Heard—Music and Musicians in LBI Collections

Heinrich Sontheim (* 3. Februar 1820 in Jebenhausen; † 2. August 1912 in Stuttgart) war ein deutsch-jüdischer Opernsänger (Tenor).

A new website highlights the stories of German-Jewish musicians, conductors, and composers based on items in the LBI’s art, archival, and library collections.

“German and Jewish”— A traveling Exhibition by Leo Baeck Institute in Germany


In recent years, the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) has increasingly worked to support the engagement of modern German society with German Jewish history—especially from the perspective of the émigré community that built the LBI’s rich collections. The new traveling exhibit, “German and Jewish” takes this a step further. The objects in the exhibition are returning for the first time to the land that their owners left the better part of a century ago.

Promoting the Braunschweig Region as Cradle of Modern Jewish Studies


The banker Israel Jacobson (1768–1828) founded a school that became the first in Germany to educate both Jewish and Christian pupils. It was one of the first educational institutions to emerge from the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment, and Israel Jacobson became a leader in the Jewish Reform movement. The Israel Jacobson Network, founded in April 2016 by representatives of 30 academic, cultural, business, and political institutions, promotes public awareness of the unique achievements of the remarkable citizens of the region. The founders of the network made it their goal to promote interest in Jewish history and culture through the creative use of historic sites.

Milestone in the Reconstruction of the Freimann Collection

Employees of the LBI and the Center for Jewish History who worked on the reconstruction of the Freimann Collection. (From left) Ilya Slavutskiy, Renate Evers,
Rachel Miller, Laura Leone, Moriah Amit, Lauren Paustian, Tracey Felder, Tim Conley, Eric Fritzler, Leanora Lange, Erica Magrey, Jennifer Rodewald. Not pictured: Ginger Barna, Albina Leibman-Klix, Shayna Marchese, Satoshi Tsuchiyama, Gloria Machnowski. Felder is holding an edition of the catalog published by Aron
Freimann (inset) in 1932, which formed the basis for the team’s work.

Good news from the Library of the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt reached the LBI in August, 2016: The team working under Rachel Heuberger, Director of the Hebraica and Judaica Collection there, added the 10,000th title to the Freimann Collection of books related to the Wissenschaft des Judentums. The LBI Library and the Center for Jewish History (CJH) have been working for years to help Frankfurt virtually reconstruct a foundational collection for Jewish studies that was once thought lost forever.

Kaffee und Kuchen


LBI staff and volunteers gathered to recognize Arthur Rath (l), an Essen native who has volunteered his services in the LBI library and archives on a weekly basis since his retirement from the Queens Public Library some 20 years ago.

Moses Mendelssohn Award for Historian Susannah Heschel

(l-r) Joel Levy, President and CEO of the CJH, Brita Wagener, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Susannah Heschel, and Ronald B. Sobel, President of the LBI

The LBI honored historian Susannah Heschel with the Moses Mendelssohn Award.