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Leo Baeck Institute


LEO BAECK INSTITUTE , organization founded by the Council of Jews from Germany in 1955 in Jerusalem, for the purpose of collecting material and sponsoring research on the history of the Jewish community in Germany and other German-speaking countries. It operates in cooperation with Israeli and European scholars, organizing and encouraging conferences and lectures. The Institute is primarily concerned with the period from the Emancipation to the destruction and dispersion of the Jewish community of Central Europe. It is named for Leo *Baeck, the leader of German Jewry in its darkest hour. Baeck, who survived Theresienstadt, became the first international president of the institute.

There are branches of the Leo Baeck Institute in Jerusalem, London, and New York and two offices in Germany. All three centers regularly hold local and international conferences on a large variety of topics. The London branch publishes a yearbook and maintains contact with European scholars. The Jerusalem branch houses an archive with a collection of documents, microfilm, newspapers in German and Hebrew, and other rare materials about the Jews of Central Europe and is responsible for the publication of the Juedischer Almanach and books in Hebrew and German. The New York branch houses a library of about 40,000 books and has extensive archives, which include memoirs, manuscripts, and art work representative of the history of Central European Jewry since the Emancipation. The work of the three branches is coordinated through an international advisory body. The Institute publishes a yearbook (ylbi; 1956 to date). A quarterly in German, Bulletin des Leo Baeck Instituts (blbi), is published in Tel Aviv. The Institute has published many monographs in English, Hebrew, and German. Among the 20 major publications of the series Schriftenreihe wissenschaftlicher Abhandlungen des Leo Baeck Instituts are the History of Prussian Jewry by Selma Stern-Taeubler, the Zunz Letters by Nahum N. Glatzer, and the Anthology of the Science of Judaism by Kurt Wilhelm. The Leo Baeck Institute has continued work on Germania Judaica started in 1917, a monumental history of all Jewish places of settlement in Central Europe from its earliest days to the 14th century (2 vols. in 3, 1963–68). The 83rd volume of Monatsschrift fuer die Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums (1939), of which only one complete copy had been salvaged, was reprinted by the Institute (1963). A series of important memoirs was published in cooperation with the Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart. Its recent publications include Juedischer Verlag im Suhrkamp Verlag and An Episode of "Risches"? The Counting of the Jewish Soldiers in Germany in the First World War.


[Max Kreutzberger /

Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]

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