Research, Exploitation, and Survival: The Story of Jacob Jacobson, a Jewish Archivist in Nazi Germany

One of the largest and most-used collections in the LBI archives is named for a little known historian and archivist who, like Leo Baeck, survive Theresienstadt. The Jacob Jacobson Collection spans 16 feet of archival boxes plus oversized materials, encompassing birth, death, marriage, and circumcision registers dating back as far as 1671. How could this enormous body of materials survive the Nazi period? When archivist Michael Simonson began reconstructing its provenance, he encountered a complex drama that hinged on the ethical dilemma of a scholar trapped between collaboration and survival.

Cataloging and Donations Management Librarian (Knowledge of German Required).

Moritz Steinschneider writing at his desk

The LBI is seeking a qualified Librarian to catalog print and non-print materials in German and English.

Edythe Griffinger Art Catalog Brings a Hidden Collection Online

Works by Eduard Magnes, Max Liebermann , and others in LBI's storage facility at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan. Photo: Jon Pack.

Thanks to a gift from a trust under the will of the late Edythe Griffinger, the LBI has launched a new project that highlights its art collection with an online portal for digitized artworks.

Cookies for the Holidays: Chocolade-Backwerk

“Kleines Chocolade-Backwerk,” perhaps translated best as “Small Chocolate Baked Goods.” These are a basic chocolate and almond cookie. My friends, can I tell you….this cookie was amazing!”

Cookies for the Holidays: Spitzbuben

“In our archives, we have a picture of a Jewish family celebrating Christmas. I asked one of our volunteers who grew up in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s about Christmas cookies. “Oh yes,” she enthusiastically responded. “Each year at Christmas we would have trays of cookies baked. We especially liked the cookies with jam in the middle, but there were many kinds.” And thus, a sticky plan was hatched…

„We have wandered together a long, long way“: Die Hans und Eleonore Jonas-Sammlung

Im Sommer 2016 übergab Ayala Jonas, Tochter des in Mönchengladbach geborenen Philosophen Hans Jonas, dem Leo Baeck Institut (LBI) einen Teil des Familiennachlasses ihrer Eltern. Das Material macht das LBI der Öffentlichkeit in Form einer Buchsammlung und einer Archivsammlung zugänglich. Letztere ist über die Website des LBI digital abrufbar und enthält unter anderem frühe bisher unveröffentlichte Manuskripte, Gedichte und Zeichnungen von Hans Jonas sowie Materialien zur Familien- und Freundesgeschichte.

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”

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.

LBI News No. 102 | Winter 2016-17

In our winter issue, we present a number of LBI-related projects in Germany: “German and Jewish” is a traveling exhibition that features selected items from our archives that are returning for the first time to the land that their owners left the better part of a century ago, among them chocolate cups from Albert Einstein; the Israel Jacobson Network promotes the Braunschweig region as a cradle of Modern Jewish Studies; the reconstruction of the Freimann Collection at the Library of the Goethe-Universitaet Frankfurt reached a new milestone; and two conferences in Leipzig and Berlin take a fresh look at chapters of German Jewish history—forced migration, specifically in the year of 1938, and Jewish life in the GDR. Furthermore, we present to you the Moses Mendelssohn Awardee 2016, Historian Susannah Heschel; we highlight some of the calendars preserved in our archives and we present a new digital music portal which makes the music and the musicians’ stories contained in collections more accessible. Finally, we give an insight into the processing of our archival collections and feature one of them, the new Hans and Eleonore Jonas Collection.

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

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.