Jewish Heritage Europe

Calendar

Sep
22
Sat
Ornament of their city – the synagogue of Kaiserslautern, 1886-1938 @ Kaiserslautern Stadtmuseum
Sep 22 – Dec 23 all-day

A special exhibit tells the story of the creation and destruction of the grand synagogue in Kaiserslautern, German, once hailed as the “ornament of their city.”

Inaugurated in 1886, the synagogue, was designed by the “once well-known, now somewhat forgotten” architect Ludwig Levy. The synagogue was razed in the summer of 1938 — months before Kristallnacht.

The exhibit features dramatic photos of the destruction of the building. It also includes  a brief outline of Levy’s life and work. 

Click to see description of exhibition and a photo gallery

 

Nov
6
Tue
Jewish Architects – Jewish Architecture? @ Hamburg
Nov 6 @ 09:00 – 18:00
Lipot Baumhorn, Hungarian Jewish architect

The international congress “Jewish Architects – Jewish Architecture?” aims to re‐examine the biographies of Jewish architects from the 19th century up to the present day from an international perspective. It will deal with the question whether and to which degree Jewish self‐definition and the perception of “Jewishness” by a non‐Jewish environment has influenced and still influences the life and works of Jewish architects all over the world. During the last decades, multifaceted research on Jewish architects has been conducted, however focusing primarily either on certain persons and their oeuvre or on limited regions. The conference emphasizes the need to provide a more extensive view, drawing comparisons between different times and regions – from the late 18th century to present days, in Europe, America, Israel and other countries. A new focus will be set on biographic networks, on the cultural and economic preconditions for Jews in the professional field of architecture, and on the role of Jewish women‐architects. This will also lead to the question of defining “Jewishness” in architecture as based on respective contemporary perspectives. The congress intends to examine the subject in different methodological ways. Architectural and art historians are invited as are historians and scholars from other fields to contribute to the debate, herewith developing new and trans‐disciplinary approaches to Jewish culture and history. 

A joint project of the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg, and the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture, Braunschweig/Jerusalem

The congress is organized by the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture, Braunschweig/Jerusalem (Prof. Dr. Alexander von Kienlin, Dr.‐Ing. Katrin Keßler, Dr. Vladimir Levin) and the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg (PD Dr.‐Ing. Ulrich Knufinke, Dr. Miriam Rürup, PD Dr. Andreas Brämer). Academic Board: Dr. Eleonora Bergman, Warsaw, Prof. Dr. Ita Heinze‐ Greenberg, Zurich, Prof. Dr. Rudolf Klein, Budapest, Prof. Dr. Carol Herselle Krinsky, New York, Dr. Vladimir Levin, Jerusalem, Dr. Sylvia Necker, Munich, PD Dr. Martin Papenbrock, Karlsruhe, Prof. Dr. Regina Stephan, Mainz

“Seven Crates of Jewish Material” On Looting and Rediscovery, from 1938 to the Present @ Jewish Museum Munich
Nov 6 2018 @ 10:00 – May 1 2019 @ 17:00

At the beginning of the 20th century in Bavaria, when a great many Jews moved to the cities or emigrated, rural congregations faced the threat of disappearing altogether. What remained were the sometimes splendid synagogues with their exquisite ritual objects. To save these from being lost, the Verband Bayerischer Israelitischer Gemeinden (Association of Israelite Congregations in Bavaria) commissioned the art historian Theodor Harburger (1887–1949) to visit these places and document the synagogues’ holdings. The objects photographed and described by Harburger at that time have either been scattered around the globe since then or else their whereabouts is unknown. Eighty years after the Kristallnacht, when the furnishings of the synagogues were either desecrated or confiscated, little hope exists today of ever finding the ritual objects which disappeared and of returning these to the descendants of the original owners.

Against this background, a spectacular find was made in 2016 in the depot of what is now the Museum für Franken in Würzburg. In the process of cataloguing its holdings for the first time since 1945, the museum came across several crates of Jewish ritual objects, some of which had been burned beyond recognition while others were mere fragments. Bernhard Purin, Director of the Jewish Museum Munich, has been able to complete an survey of these items over the past two years and, with the help of the documentation compiled by Theodor Harburger, determine that these objects came from seven synagogues in Würzburg and the surrounding area.

A research project in collaboration with the Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen in Bayern and the German Lost Art Foundation has since revealed that around one third of the some 150 objects had been confiscated from the synagogues during the Kristallnacht in 1938. Sources state that “seven crates of Jewish material” had subsequently been handed over to the museum.

The exhibition is the first presentation of these long-forgotten, looted Jewish ritual objects—which include valuable Torah ornaments, Hanukkah lamps, Seder plates, and many others—and their history. Thanks to inscriptions, mostly in Hebrew, is was possible to determine the names of a number of donors, who gifted these objects to the synagogues at that time. Their biographies, some of which date back to the 18th century, as well as those of their descendants, can also be traced in the exhibition. The path of life of many met a gruesome end during the Shoah. Several, on the other hand, led out of Germany to different places around the world. This exhibition commemorates all these people, members of former rural congregations in Bavaria, and the objects which were once so precious to them.

 

Nov
7
Wed
Jewish Architects – Jewish Architecture? @ Hamburg
Nov 7 @ 09:00 – 18:00
Lipot Baumhorn, Hungarian Jewish architect

The international congress “Jewish Architects – Jewish Architecture?” aims to re‐examine the biographies of Jewish architects from the 19th century up to the present day from an international perspective. It will deal with the question whether and to which degree Jewish self‐definition and the perception of “Jewishness” by a non‐Jewish environment has influenced and still influences the life and works of Jewish architects all over the world. During the last decades, multifaceted research on Jewish architects has been conducted, however focusing primarily either on certain persons and their oeuvre or on limited regions. The conference emphasizes the need to provide a more extensive view, drawing comparisons between different times and regions – from the late 18th century to present days, in Europe, America, Israel and other countries. A new focus will be set on biographic networks, on the cultural and economic preconditions for Jews in the professional field of architecture, and on the role of Jewish women‐architects. This will also lead to the question of defining “Jewishness” in architecture as based on respective contemporary perspectives. The congress intends to examine the subject in different methodological ways. Architectural and art historians are invited as are historians and scholars from other fields to contribute to the debate, herewith developing new and trans‐disciplinary approaches to Jewish culture and history. 

A joint project of the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg, and the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture, Braunschweig/Jerusalem

The congress is organized by the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture, Braunschweig/Jerusalem (Prof. Dr. Alexander von Kienlin, Dr.‐Ing. Katrin Keßler, Dr. Vladimir Levin) and the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg (PD Dr.‐Ing. Ulrich Knufinke, Dr. Miriam Rürup, PD Dr. Andreas Brämer). Academic Board: Dr. Eleonora Bergman, Warsaw, Prof. Dr. Ita Heinze‐ Greenberg, Zurich, Prof. Dr. Rudolf Klein, Budapest, Prof. Dr. Carol Herselle Krinsky, New York, Dr. Vladimir Levin, Jerusalem, Dr. Sylvia Necker, Munich, PD Dr. Martin Papenbrock, Karlsruhe, Prof. Dr. Regina Stephan, Mainz

Nov
8
Thu
Jewish Architects – Jewish Architecture? @ Hamburg
Nov 8 @ 09:00 – 18:00
Lipot Baumhorn, Hungarian Jewish architect

The international congress “Jewish Architects – Jewish Architecture?” aims to re‐examine the biographies of Jewish architects from the 19th century up to the present day from an international perspective. It will deal with the question whether and to which degree Jewish self‐definition and the perception of “Jewishness” by a non‐Jewish environment has influenced and still influences the life and works of Jewish architects all over the world. During the last decades, multifaceted research on Jewish architects has been conducted, however focusing primarily either on certain persons and their oeuvre or on limited regions. The conference emphasizes the need to provide a more extensive view, drawing comparisons between different times and regions – from the late 18th century to present days, in Europe, America, Israel and other countries. A new focus will be set on biographic networks, on the cultural and economic preconditions for Jews in the professional field of architecture, and on the role of Jewish women‐architects. This will also lead to the question of defining “Jewishness” in architecture as based on respective contemporary perspectives. The congress intends to examine the subject in different methodological ways. Architectural and art historians are invited as are historians and scholars from other fields to contribute to the debate, herewith developing new and trans‐disciplinary approaches to Jewish culture and history. 

A joint project of the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg, and the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture, Braunschweig/Jerusalem

The congress is organized by the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture, Braunschweig/Jerusalem (Prof. Dr. Alexander von Kienlin, Dr.‐Ing. Katrin Keßler, Dr. Vladimir Levin) and the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg (PD Dr.‐Ing. Ulrich Knufinke, Dr. Miriam Rürup, PD Dr. Andreas Brämer). Academic Board: Dr. Eleonora Bergman, Warsaw, Prof. Dr. Ita Heinze‐ Greenberg, Zurich, Prof. Dr. Rudolf Klein, Budapest, Prof. Dr. Carol Herselle Krinsky, New York, Dr. Vladimir Levin, Jerusalem, Dr. Sylvia Necker, Munich, PD Dr. Martin Papenbrock, Karlsruhe, Prof. Dr. Regina Stephan, Mainz

Nov
11
Sun
Jewish Experiences in Eastern Europe, 1945-1968 @ Einstein Forum, Potsdam
Nov 11 – Nov 13 all-day

The Holocaust decimated Eastern Europe’s Jewish communities, but it didn’t obliterate them. Several million Jews were living in the Soviet Union and its newly expanded sphere of influence after the end of the Second World War. Their postwar experiences are often seen as an epilogue to the Shoah, or else portrayed as an interlude cut short by the communist regimes’ anti-Zionist campaigns and the renewed wave of emigration they caused. Fifty years later, this conference reconsiders Jewish experiences before 1968 and places them in the wider context of postwar European societies.

Nov
14
Wed
YIVO Gala Award Dinner honors Irene Pletka @ YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
Nov 14 @ 18:30 – 22:00

YIVO Gala Award Dinner.

It honors Irene Pletka, the Vice Chairman of the YIVO Board and Founder and Chairman of the Kronhill Pletka Foundation, “for her exemplary leadership, inspiring generosity, and outstanding commitment to the preservation of Jewish history and culture.”

The Foundation supports secular Jewish culture, Yiddish language, and re-emerging Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere.

Born in Shanghai to Polish-Jewish parents who were Sugihara refugees, Irene was raised in Australia. Fluent in multiple languages, she earned a degree in psychology and an MFA in photography from RISD, served as a visiting artist at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem for 20 years, and worked as a photographer, designer and, more recently, as a producer for the forthcoming film, “Who Will Write Our History?”

Irene came to YIVO almost inevitably. Her childhood Yiddish teacher in Australia was the son of one of YIVO’s founders. Her father, a lifelong member of the BUND, was a founder of the Yiddish day-school Sholem Aleichem College, as well as an activist in the Jewish community in Melbourne, Australia.

Since founding the Kronhill Pletka Foundation in 2007 and joining YIVO’s board in 2011, Irene has been an activist member of the YIVO, and of other organizations as well. She and the Foundation have supported a variety of projects in Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Venezuela, Italy, Africa, Australia, Israel and the United States. Projects as diverse as funding the re-creation of the ceiling of the 17th century painted wooden Gwozdziec synagogue, now the centerpiece of the POLIN museum in Warsaw; a Balkan Sephardi music festival, and enabling Israeli doctors to treat Syrian refugees are some examples of what the Kronhill Pletka Foundation supports.

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