The Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem together with Leo Baeck Institute London and the association Freunde und Förderer des Leo Baeck Instituts are preparing a hybrid exhibition project centered on the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums and the remnants of its library. The online exhibition and its accompanying Social Media campaign shall be launched in Autumn of 2023 and will run until the end of 2024. Physical installations promoting the exhibition in different spaces related to the legacy of the Hochschule across the globe will follow suit. This exhibition project aspires to engage broad international audiences in joining the search for the library’s lost books as citizen scientists.
For 70 years, the Hochschule in Berlin constituted a vibrant world of study and scholarship. The Hochschule, founded in 1872, served as a rabbinical seminary and as a research hub for the scientific study of Judaism. It was the central institution in then budding study of Jewish history and culture in Germany. Alas, hardly anything is left of the Hochschule today, because the Nazis have erased its traces from the earth. It was forced to close in 1942, and surviving students and teachers were dispersed all over the world.
We pin our hopes, therefore, on the library – our key to reconstructing the Hochschule as a space of a diverse intellectual discourse about Judaism. After it fell prey to the Nazi plunder, many of its books were destroyed. A part of the library, however, survived. Today these books are dispersed across manifold collections worldwide and many items are still waiting to be identified.Together with our citizen scientists, we want to search for these traces of the library and reunite the remnants of this precious collection.
The project is funded by the foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ) and the German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF), as part of the Education Agenda NS-Injustice.
We invite members of the public to join us in this important endeavor to preserve the legacy of the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, learn from the sages of the recent past, and to honor the memory of its students and teachers.
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Heads of the Project
Jerusalem: Dr. Irene Aue-Ben-David, Director of the LBI Jerusalem
London: Kinga Bloch, Deputy Director LBI London
Berlin: Jakob Kroneck, Freunde und Förderer des Leo Baeck Instititut
In Cooperation With