Leo Baeck Medal for Ismar Schorsch

Professor Ismar Schorsch (l) with Robert Rifkind (r) and Dr. Ronald B. Sobel at the Center for Jewish History on March 1, 2015

On March 1, 2015, as LBI opened a symposium and exhibit on the 19TH-century German movement that launched the academic study of Judaism, it honored a scholar who exemplifies the movement’s ideals in the 21ST century

Arnon Goldfinger, Director of The Flat

"When Israel was founded, there was the sense that it was necessary to build a new country with new people by cutting off the Diaspora roots. Now people feel that they missed something. Not just among the Ashkenazim, but among the Sephardim as well."  —Arnon Goldfinger

Arnon Goldfinger’s 2011 documentary The Flat explores the mystery of his German-Jewish grandparents’ curious friendship with a Nazi official, Leopold von Mildenstein, which he learns survived even in the shadow of the Holocaust. After a screening of the film at the Center for Jewish History on April 14, 2015, we asked him about archives, loss, and memory.

Stolen Heart: Exhibit on Expropriation in Heart of Berlin coming to LBI

An aerial photograph of Berlin in 1925 highlighting Jewish-owned properties.

The Leo Baeck Institute plans to mount an exhibit entitled Stolen Heart based on the exhibition Stolen Mitte: The “Aryanization” of Jewish Property in Berlin’s Historic City Center, 1933 – 1945 which was originally installed at the Stadtmuseum in Berlin in September 2013

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.