Sara Levy’s World: Music, Gender, and Judaism in Enlightenment Berlin

Clockwise from top left: Musicians perform a work by J.S. Bach that was preserved in the archive of Sara Levy; an engraving by Anton Graff , probably of Sara Levy; Rebecca Cypess at the harpsichord; (l-r) Cypess, Christoph Wolff , and Nancy Sinkoff Photos by Philip Maier.

The Forchheimer Auditorium at the Center for Jewish History (CJH) took on the atmosphere of an artistic salon in Enlightenment-era Berlin on May 19 as a group of performers and scholars explored the life, times, and music of Sara Levy, one of the most influential hostesses of her day.

Preservation in the LBI Library

Threads in a sewn binding

Lauren Paustian Caring for a library of over 80,000 physical volumes is a hands-on job, according to Lauren Paustian, an associate librarian who handles many of the LBI Library’s preservation efforts. During “National Preservation Week” (April 26 – March 3, 2015), Paustian offered visitors to the Center for Jewish History (CJH) an overview of what…

LBI Materials Now Searchable in More Global Databases

Catalog aggregators that now link to LBI records

Leo Baeck Institute has made strides toward integrating its holdings into major global library catalogs, which means more one-stop-shopping for researchers interested in Jewish history.

Leo Baeck Institute New York in Berlin

The Jewish Museum Berlin (cc Libeskind/Schneider)

Zum Jahresende 2013 eröffnete das Leo Baeck Institute New York|Berlin ein Büro in Berlin um die bestehenden Beziehungen zu Wissenschaftlern, jüdischen Gemeinden, Behörden und wirtschaftlichen Sponsoren zu pflegen und zu vertiefen. Des Weiteren besteht seit der Gründung des Jüdischen Museums Berlin die Möglichkeit Bestände des Leo Baeck Institutes in der dortigen Dependance des Archivs einzusehen….

LBI News No. 97 — Spring 2015


In this issue, LBI announces new pilot program for transcriptions of handwritten materials and digitization of photographs, and vision scientist Gerald Westheimer explains why he is supporting fellowships for scholars of German-Jewish history. Plus, a look at some key scholars of the Wissenschaft des Judentums and their works in LBI collections.

Moritz Steinschneider (1816 – 1907)

Moritz Steinschneider (1816 – 1907)

Steinschneider’s magnum opus about Jewish translations of the Middle Ages shows how Arabic and Hebrew writers were instrumental in the transfer of classical Greek knowledge to Europe and Western culture.

Esriel Hildesheimer (1820 – 1899)

Esriel Hildesheimer (1820 – 1899)

Hildesheimer believed strongly in the principle of Torah im derekh erez (Torah and worldly knowledge): that halakhic observance was not only compatible with the study of science and other secular subjects, but that both were necessary to recognize and become close to God.

Zacharias Frankel (1801 – 1875)

Zacharias Frankel (1801 – 1875)

Zacharias Frankel was one of the leading advocates for Conservative Judaism in Germany. As a proponent of “positive historical Judaism” he held that Reform Judaism ignored the national component of Judaism and focused mainly on its intellectual aspects.

Abraham Geiger (1810 – 1874)

Abraham Geiger (1810 – 18

One of the leading figures of the Reform Judaism movement, Abraham Geiger believed that Judaism was not a given quantity or a national law but a process still in flux; tradition itself was the result of this continuous process of growth.

Leopold Zunz (1794 – 1886)

In December 1817, Leopold Zunz, an instructor at a Jewish school in Wolfenbüttel, wrote an essay entitled Etwas über die Rabbinische Litteratur (“On Rabinnical Literature”). This little book marks an epoch in the history of modern Jewish scholarship.