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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.
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.
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.
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.
It is with sadness that LBI mourns the passing of Ernest W. Michel, a longtime Board Member and supporter of the Leo Baeck Institute.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leo Baeck Institute receives major support from the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.
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