Family of Rare Book Donor Visits LBI

(l-r) Columbia University historian Elisheva Carlebach; President & CEO of the Center for Jewish History, Joel Levy; Playwright Peter Wortsman; Frank Herz's daughter-in-law, Janet Stahl; Herz's grand-daughter, Dana Stahl-Herz; and Herz's son David Herz.

This spring, an exhibition in the David Berg Rare Book Room at the Center for Jewish History displayed rare books from the collection of Frank L. Herz. The works on display included Johannes Reuchlin’s Augenspiegel from 1511, one of the earliest treatises against antisemitism and intolerance. Descendents of Herz who attended the exhibition opening were moved seeing the collection of their father, father-in-law, and grandfather being presented to the public.

Descendants of Expropriated Berlin Families Gather for Exhibition Opening

Eugenie Fuchs, "Winter Landscape", Oil on Canvas, 1931. Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, Inv.-Nr. SM 2014-0449

Before the opening reception in late March for the new exhibit, Stolen Heart: The Theft of Jewish Property in Berlin’s Historic City Center, 1933–1945, some very special guests met to share how the expropriation of Berlin’s Jews had touched their own families’ lives.

Genealogy Success Stories


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.

A New Online Presence for the Leo Baeck Institute(s)

LBI Facebook

Since 2010, LBI staff in New York have engaged with donors, scholars, genealogists, and others on the Institute’s Facebook page. In June, LBI will launch a new Facebook presence that better represents the overlapping missions of the Leo Baeck Institutes in New York, London, and Jerusalem, as well as LBI – New York’s new office in Berlin.

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


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.

The Roedelheim Mahzor Collection: Change and Continuity

all three published in 1860 - left no specific rite, center Ashkenazi rite, right German translation of unspecific rite

Recently Moriah Amit, a librarian at the LBI and the Center for Jewish History, finished cataloguing a unique collection of mahzors published in Roedelheim. These editions, comprising 15 complete sets of the prayer books, were published between 1800 and 1923 in Roedelheim, Germany. Over more than 140 hours, Amit cataloged 304 volumes of 77 editions that are preserved in the LBI library collection. Their appearance—the change in printed layout and language chosen by the publisher, as well as notes and inscriptions by the owner, or generations of owners—reflect the interplay of continuity and change that mark all religious-cultural traditions.

Between Memory and Oblivion—The Jewish Cemeteries in Vienna

Zentralfriedhof great pic but low res_crop

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.

Tarnschriften: Camouflaged Publications in Resistance Against the Nazis

The Tarnschriften, the size of a palm, are disguised as guides, e.g. for bicyclists.

Tarnschriften, or camouflaged publications, were one way to avoid censorship in Germany between 1933 and 1945: Texts that were forbidden by the Nazis were hidden between inconspicuous cover pages. The LBI holds two of these publications in its collection.