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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

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…

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…

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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,…

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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)…

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.

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LBI Film Club: Regina


The Leo Baeck Institute London would like to welcome you to another free online screening at the LBI Film Club. We hope that all the film lovers among you will continue to enjoy our selection of interesting and thought-provoking films linked to the immensely rich, diverse and multi-faceted Jewish experience and will relish this latest offering in our LBI Film Club programme: 

Regina (2013) is a documentary on Regina Jonas (1902–1944) who became the first properly ordained woman rabbi in the world in 1935 whilst working in Berlin. Regina’s sermons and dedication brought encouragement to persecuted German Jews, before both she and Rabbi Josef Norden (the love of her life), were deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp by the Nazis.

Diana Groó’s poetic documentary Regina (2013) based on a…

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Heinrich Zimmer, Nazi Racial Politics and the University of Heidelberg, 1933–1938
Dr. Baijayanti Roy

This talk examines the grey zones that exist between the established paradigms of persecution and exile in the ‘Third Reich’, as demonstrated by the trajectory of the Indologist Heinrich Zimmer (1890–1943). Zimmer, who taught at the University of Heidelberg, lost his teaching license in 1938 since his wife Christiane was classified as a Mischling (mixed race) by the Nazi regime. He tried to battle his fate by offering diverse political capital to the Nazi political establishment and by counting on some sympathetic colleagues. Zimmer was able to flee Germany with his family in 1939.

Baijayanti Roy is a postdoctoral researcher affiliated to the University of Frankfurt. Her monograph, The Making of a Gentleman Nazi: Albert Speer’s Politics of History in the Federal Republic of Germany was published in 2016. Another monograph, The Nazi Study of India and Indian Anti-Colonialism: Knowledge Providers and Propagandists in the ‘Third Reich’…

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 ( 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…

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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…

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Library of Lost Books Launch at the Wiener Holocaust Library, London

The Leo Baeck Institute London, in collaboration with the Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem and the Friends and Sponsors of the Leo Baeck Institute, is pleased to announce the launch of The Library of Lost Books in Britain. It is part of the broader project The Library of Lost Books, which aims to locate books stolen by Nazis from the library of the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies (Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums) in Berlin. The project’s website is available in German, English and Czech, and a Hebrew version is in the making.

The pop-up exhibition in London aims to engage a UK audience with the history of a renowned German-Jewish institution, encouraging them to become citizen scientists in the search for the library’s lost books. These books may be found in libraries, archives, private collections, or any place that might hold books brought to Britain by refugees from Nazi Germany.…

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Feuchtwanger Book Club - Der Jüdische Krieg

To celebrate the conference of the International Feuchtwanger Society coming to London in 2024, the Leo Baeck Institute London has organised a Feuchtwanger Book Club, focusing on the work of the acclaimed – but now somewhat forgotten – German Jewish novelist Lion Feuchtwanger. 

Our Feuchtwanger Book Club is starting a new book in next week’s session: Lion Feuchtwanger’s 1932 novel ‘The War of the Jews’ (Der jüdische Krieg). It is open to everyone. 

Join us online on Zoom every Wednesday at 4pm (BST). For details contact [email protected]

An English translation of Der jüdische Krieg is widely available in various editions. You can read it for free at the Internet Archive (in German).



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LBI London has moved!

We’re pleased to announce that the Leo Baeck Institute London has moved.

After many productive years at Queen Mary University of London, we’ve packed up our books and moved back to central London. We’re now located on Russell Square, close to our new partner Birkbeck, University of London, as well as Senate House where we host many of our lectures, and near our friends and colleagues at the German Historical Institute London and the Wiener Holocaust Library.

This relocation brings new opportunities for research, education and outreach and provides a fresh impetus to our popular existing programme of events.

Work resumes without interruption at our new premises and we look forward to seeing you all again soon!

News from the LBI London Pamphlet Collection Digitisation Project

The Leo Baeck Institute London was happy to welcome Naomi Korn and Sean Waterman of Naomi Korn and Associates this morning who will do a copyright review of the LBI London Pamphlet Collection today. This marks an important step in our conservation and digitisation project, commenced in 2019 with the support of MAX Communications and Queen Mary University of London’s library where our archive is currently on loan.

 Stay tuned for more news about our unique collection of leaflets, pamphlets and prints!


More information on our pamphlet collection: