Conference announcement: “Shared” History? 1,700 years of Jewish life in German-speaking lands

Frank Mecklenburg's picture

In 2021, Germany will celebrate 1,700 years of Jewish life in German-speaking lands, and the Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin (LBI) is marking the occasion by launching its “Shared History Project.” As the name suggests, the lives of Jews have always been tightly interwoven with the history of the regions and countries where they lived. But to what extent can we truly speak of shared experiences during the past 17 centuries in Central Europe? What forms have the social, economic, and scientific exchange between the Jewish minority and Christian majority taken?

Between December 7–9, 2020 an international conference by the LBI in cooperation with the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (BpB) and the Jewish Museum Berlin, and financially supported by the Foreign Office will investigate these questions in several interdisciplinary panels. The conference will foreground the diversity and multiplicity of voices within and among the Jewish communities in German-speaking lands over the centuries. It will also tackle the dominant themes of Jewish life and explore their enduring relevance to the present—life as a minority; social inclusion and exclusion; persecution, flight, and exile; acculturation; and questions of group and individual identity and place in society.

The conference will take place virtually, all events will be broadcast to the general public as a live stream.

The conference will take place in English and German with simultaneous translation.

For more information on the Shared History Project and the conference, visit our website:

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