Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums
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Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, or Higher Institute for Jewish Studies, was a rabbinical seminary, established in Berlin in 1872 and closed down by the Nazi government of Germany in 1942. Upon the order of the government, the name was officially changed (1883–1923 and 1933–42) to Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judentums.
Abraham Geiger, who had been active in establishing Reform Judaism, wanted a university for Jewish studies in Berlin. Unable to become part of the University of Berlin, he was involved in 1870 in creating a separate institution. Also involved were David Cassel, Israel Lewy and Heymann Steinthal, the Jewish "intellectuals" and professors at the University of Berlin.
Geiger's "General Introduction to the Science of Judaism," "Introduction to the Biblical Writings" and "Lectures on Pirḳe Abot" were originally delivered as lectures at the seminary. Some of the best German-Jewish teachers taught there in the spirit of the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement: Hanoch Albeck, Ismar Elbogen, Julius Grünthal, Julius Guttmann, Franz Rosenthal, Harry Torczyner, and Leo Baeck.
Moritz Steinschneider referred to the Hochschule as a "new ghetto of Jewish learning," which he felt could ultimately not produce the standards of scholarship achieved in the university setting (Mendes-Flohr 1998) harv error: no target: CITEREFMendes-Flohr1998 (help).
Officially the institution was not affiliated with a movement or denomination. It sought free inquiry and research without any restrictions. It stood for a conservative Judaism, but its main object was the scientific study of things Jewish, freed as far as possible from denominational disputes. There was no religious test for professors but it was assumed that all of the faculty lived according to the Jewish tradition and were fluent in Hebrew. As the school was never dependent on any religious or public organization, the board was constantly engaged in raising money from wealthy contributors, sponsors of scholarly "chairs" and scholarships.
In 1872, the first year, there were only 12 students, including four women. In 1921, there were 63 full-time and 45 part-time students enrolled in the "Hochschule". Many of the students came from Eastern European countries, notably Poland, as graduates of Orthodox Yeshivot. By 1930–33 the school had achieved so great a reputation that many non-Jews, especially Christian clergy, enrolled.
- Leo Baeck as a student 1894–95; as a lecturer 1913–42
- Arthur Biram
- Aron Brand
- Mordecai Ehrenpreis
- Emil L. Fackenheim
- Abraham Joshua Heschel
- Regina Jonas
- Alice Lucas
- Philip Magnus
- Arno Nadel
- Claude Montefiore
- Samuel Poznanski
- Herman Schaalman (1916–2017), who became senior rabbi at the Emanuel Congregation of Chicago and also an interfaith activist
- Solomon Schecter
- Shmaryahu Levin
- Selma Stern (1890–1981), one of the first women in Germany to become a professional historian; a research fellow at the Akademie für die Wissenschaft des Judentums which was founded at the Hochschule in 1919
- Manfred Swarsensky (1905–1981), who graduated from the Hochschule with a PhD in 1929. He was rabbi, for 36 years, at Temple Beth El, a Reform synagogue in Madison, Wisconsin.
- Werner van der Zyl (1902–1984), who became a rabbi in Berlin and in London, where he was the prime mover and first director of studies of what was to become the Leo Baeck College
- Miriam Yalan-Shteklis (1900–1984), writer and poet
- Biographical guide to Forest Hill Cemetery: the ordinary and famous women and men who shaped Madison and the world. Historic Madison, Inc. 2002. p. 343. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- Olitzky, Kerry M; Raphael, Marc Lee (1996). The American Synagogue: A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-313-28856-2. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judenthums: Rückblick auf die Ersten Fünfundzwanzig Jahre (1872–97), Berlin, 1897.
- Seidel, Esther (2002). "Women Pioneers of Jewish Learning: Ruth Liebrecht and Her Companions at the 'Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums' in Berlin 1930–1934", Jüdische Verlagsanstalt Berlin. ISBN 978-3-934658-32-5.
- Popular article on the history of the institution
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judentums". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.
- Bookstamp of the Bibliothek der Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums (Rare Books of the Shimeon Brisman Collection in Jewish Studies, Washington University)
- Bookstamp of the Bibliothek der Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judentums (Rare Books of the Shimeon Brisman Collection in Jewish Studies, Washington University)