Leo Baeck Medal for Eric R. Kandel

Eric Kandel

The Vienna-born scientist was honored for his contributions to the understanding of memory, both in the lab and as applied to the tumultuous history of the 20th century. The laureate, as Ronald B. Sobel, president of the Leo Baeck Institute emphasized, was, “with all of his other gifts, a magnificent mensch”.

Staff Transitions at Leo Baeck Institute

Featured Image Staff Transitions

Long-time staff have moved into new roles in order to better manage LBI’s growing collections, and new staff will help expand access and awareness of LBI collections.

Rare Painting by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim Shown at LBI

Freitag Abend [Friday Evening Blessing], by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim

Freitag Abend [Friday Evening Blessing], an atmospheric painting from 1867 by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, was put on display by LBI at the Center for Jewish History from November 8–20, 2015.

LBI Contributes Paper to UN Holocaust Outreach Program


How has the Leo Baeck Institute contributed to the remembrance of the Holocaust and its victims? Executive Director of the LBI, William H. Weitzer, discussed this question in a recent contribution to the United Nations Discussion Paper Series of the UN Holocaust Outreach Program.

Field Work Continues for LBI Archival Survey in Romania

Clockwise from upper left: Letterhead from Circle of Jewish Intellectuals in Romania addressed to the Association for the Support of Jews from Bukovina; Bukovina election sheets from the immediate pre-war years; Moise Farkas, lumber specialist in the Saxon town of Sch äßburg/Sighisoara; Postcard addressed to the Association of Jews Deported to Transnistria; Rabbi of Straßburg am Mieresch/Aiud, Transylvania (Saxon town), 1943, from a wartime application to be exempt from forced labor.

LBI’s survey of archives related to German-speaking Jewish communities in Bukovina and Transylvania is now entering its fourth year of field work in Romanian archival repositories. Field archivist and researcher Julie Dawson is currently wrapping up several months of research in Bucharest.

Billige echt jüdische Bobe (Cheap Real Jewish Bobe) – A Coffee Cake

My friend was most intrigued with the recipe of the Cheap Real Jewish Bobe. It seemed very basic, the kind of thing you would have with coffee mid-morning in a pleasant kitchen or café or garden in Central Europe before the war: nothing too fancy, like some rich pastry or confectionery for a special event among the exceedingly wealthy. This is a simple coffee cake where you invite a few friends over whom you don’t have to impress. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good–after all; aren’t the simplest things often the tastiest?

In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin

The Theresienstadt Ghetto was created at the end of 1941 as a collection point for Jews of the former Czechoslovakia, and in the following months for Jews from Germany and Austria as well. A place with a complicated history of deception, starvation, slave labor, and periods of “beautification” for propaganda purposes, the Theresienstadt Ghetto’s primary purpose was as a way-station for further deportations to the death camps in Eastern Europe, most notably Treblinka and Auschwitz. It was in this hell that Mina Pachter, who before the war had been an art historian, made this cookbook.

Erdbeer-Gateau from Hélènemama (Arad, Romania, 1924)


The Erdbeer-Gateau or Strawberry Cake is a delicious and easy recipe. Don’t let any personal fears of working with meringue dissuade you! It’s perfect for summer. This is not a recipe from a “Jewish cookbook,” rather a German cookbook that was published by a German press in Romania. The owner of the cookbook was a Jewish woman from Vienna, and that is how it found its way into our collections.

Kochbuch der Hélènemama (Arad, Romania, 1924)

Kochbuch der Helenemama

Hedi Levenback escaped Austria in 1939 via a Kindertransport to England at the age of 14. Her own mother had died of natural causes when she was only six, and she was raised by an aunt. Her aunt managed to flee Austria as well, immigrating to Shanghai and, after the war, joining her niece in New York. We presume that this cookbook belonged to her aunt, carried with her from Vienna to China and to her new life in the United States. She seems to have been truly devoted to the domestic arts.

Stolen Heart: The Theft of Jewish Property in Berlin’s Historic Center, 1933–1945

"Stolen Heart" is on view March 29 – October 2016 at the Center for Jewish History.

March 29 – December 31, 2016 A new exhibit shows how Jews helped make Berlin’s central district, Mitte, the vibrant center of culture and commerce it was by the late 19th century, and how the expropriation of Jewish-owned businesses and real estate left wounds that have yet to heal.