Skip to main content

Welcome to the LBI London

The Leo Baeck Institute London is devoted to the study of German-Jewish history and culture. The LBI is an independent charity and aims to preserve and research this history by organizing innovative research projects, Fellowship programmes, and public events. Through the lens of German-Jewish history, the Institute seeks to address some of the most topical and timely questions of our times.

News and Events

LBI London Summer Lecture: Psychologists in Auschwitz: Accounting for Survival
Prof Dan Stone

The writings of Dutch Auschwitz survivors Eddy de Wind, Elie Cohen and Louis Micheels merit analysis not only because they anticipated what later became known as PTSD and much of the underpinnings of trauma theory. They also advocated a theory of survival that offers a compelling contrast to well-known “self-help” theories put forward by Bruno Bettelheim and, especially, Viktor Frankl. This lecture traces the ways in which this theory of survival challenged these simplistic narratives, explains how their work informed the changing field of psychiatry after the war, and considers its relevance for the historiography of the Holocaust today. 

 

Dan Stone is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he has taught since 1999. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including, most recently, The Holocaust: An Unfinished History (Penguin, 2023)…

See more from Summer Lecture
Leo Baeck Institute London PhD Scholarship in Modern Jewish History and Culture

The Leo Baeck Institute London is pleased to offer a three-year PhD scholarship for an outstanding doctoral candidate wishing to pursue a research project in the field of German-Jewish history and culture with a focus on the 20th century.

Applications are invited from current and prospective master’s graduates with an excellent academic track record.

The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the home fee rate (£4,786 in 2024-25) and a stipend (£21,237 per year for 2024-25) for up to three years. 

The recipient of this scholarship will be based at the School of Historical Studies, Birkbeck, University of London. 

To apply for this scholarship, you will need to apply for a History MPhil/PhD on the Birkbeck website by 31 July 2024. Please select ‘History MPhil/PhD: 4 years full-time, on campus, starting 2024-25’ and specify in your research proposal that you wish to be…

The Library of Lost Books – Reloaded

A Review Session with the Library of Lost Books Team and our British Book Detectives

The Library of Lost Books team from the Leo Baeck Institutes in London and Jerusalem will host a roundtable discussion with students, teachers, and educators who have participated in the international citizen science project Library of Lost Books (www.libraryoflostbooks.com) that seeks to gather information about the current whereabouts of a Nazi looted library.

In a conversation with pupils and students, the main audience of this endeavour, and with educators, librarians and archivists, we want to gather insights into experiences from the rollout of our project in London. The aim is to critically evaluate our pioneering work and to develop best practices emanating from the collaboration with our ‘book detectives’ in the UK.

The roundtable will be chaired by Dr Irene Aue-Ben-David…

See more from Library of Lost Books
Feuchtwanger Book Club – The Devil in France

To celebrate the International Feuchtwanger Society conference arriving in London in 2024, the Leo Baeck Institute London has established a Feuchtwanger Book Club. This club spotlights the works of the renowned German Jewish novelist Lion Feuchtwanger.

Join us for the final book of our Feuchtwanger Book Club, The Devil in France, Lion Feuchtwanger’s gripping 1941 account of his incarceration in a French internment camp that almost cost him his life. The book club is open to everyone.

We will meet on Zoom on Wednesdays at 16.00 (BST). For details contact [email protected] 

An English translation of The Devil in France is widely available in various editions. You can read it for free at the following link.

See more from Book Discussion
Regina Jonas – The First Woman Rabbi
Rabbi Prof Dr Elisa Klapheck

Can women hold rabbinical office? This was one of the questions discussed at the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies, Berlin, in the 1920s and 1930s. And no one was better suited to provide an answer to this than Regina Jonas, a student at the Higher Institute who became the first female rabbi in the world in 1935. Prior to her ordination, Jonas answered the question about women’s access to the rabbinate in a halachic treatise that she submitted in 1930 as her final halachic project. Her biographer, Rabbi Prof Dr Elisa Klapheck, will share insights into a life that inspired a new kind of women’s participation in Jewish religious practice. This lecture explores the work of a determined woman who was passionate about Judaism and who was also beloved by the people whom she served in Nazi Germany and after her deportation to Theresienstadt camp in 1942. Regina Jonas was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944; her work still resonates today.

Rabbi Prof Dr…

See more from Library of Lost Books
The Luzzatto Manuscript

Samuel David Luzzatto’s Synonymia Hebraica (Mavdil Nirdafim) (c. 1815–1820) is a remarkable manuscript smuggled out of Germany by Alexander Guttmann in 1940. 

This beautifully bound notebook contains 25 essays in Hebrew, each exploring groups of words in the Bible with similar or identical meanings. All but one essay were later published in the journals Bikkurei Ha-Ittim (1825–1828) and Jeschurun (1856).  

What makes this item unique are the author’s corrections and notes in the margins, written in ink, crayon and pencil. It is thus a fascinating testament to the editing process. This item is on permanent loan to the Leo Baeck College Library from the Judaica Conservancy Foundation. 

See whole book here: https://www.leobaeck.co.uk/research/library-lost-books-britain 

See more from Library of Lost Books
Jewish Life in Contemporary Germany
Prof. Dani Kranz

Germany is home to Europe’s third largest Jewish community. Yet surprisingly little is known about them. After the Shoah, about 15,000 German Jews returned to Germany or emerged from hiding. The growth of the Jewish population in Germany after 1945 was due entirely to immigration, which is somewhat counter intuitive. Who are the Jews who live in contemporary Germany? How do they live out their Jewishness? What Jewish cultures did they bring with them, and what kind of Jewish culture is forming in Germany? 

Dani Kranz is the incumbent DAAD Humboldt chair at El Colegio de México, Mexico City, and an applied anthropologist and director of Two Foxes Consulting, Germany and Israel. Her expertise covers migration, integration, ethnicity, law, state/stateliness, political life, organisations, memory cultures and politics as well as cultural heritage.

 

This event is organised in collaboration with the British-German Association (BGA)…

The Library of Lost Books in Britain

Books from the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies in London

 

Here you can have a closer look at some of the traces of the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies that have been found at the Leo Baeck College Library in London. 


They include an ornate album with photographs of all lecturers working at the Institute in 1904, a Haggadah from 1730, the Luzzatto Manuscript (1815–1820?), and a book about German-Jewish gymnasts from Wilhelmine Germany.

The Library of Lost Books

Our latest exhibition brings the story of the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies in Berlin (1872–1942) and its library into the heart of London.

The Library of Lost Books is an international project which aims to commemorate and educate about the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies in Berlin (Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, 1872–1942). This institute, operating from 1872 until it was closed down by the Nazis in 1942, was dedicated to the study of Jewish history and culture, as well as rabbinical studies in Liberal Judaism.

This exhibition, the first of its kind in the UK, tells the story of the Hochschule – from a vibrant space for German-Jewish learning to a victim of Nazi crime.

During the Holocaust, the Hochschule’s unique library of books was looted by the Nazis and scattered across the globe. The exhibition reveals the complex journeys Nazi-looted books took in the…

See more from Library of Lost Books
LBI Mailing List

Sign up now to receive the Leo Baeck Institute London newsletter. 

Every month you will receive news, upcoming events, lecture recordings and research straight to your inbox. 

http://leobaeck.co.uk/mailing-list/