Speaker: Dr. Michael Brenner, Chair of Jewish History and Culture at the University of Munich in Germany
Location: JCC of Greater Washington; Rockville, MD
Contrary to common belief, Jewish life in Germany before the rise of the Nazis was culturally thriving. While one segment of the Jewish community was assimilated, there was a tendency, especially among the younger generation, to show renewed interest in Jewish matters. German Jewry in the 1920s was perhaps the first Jewish community that lived in a relatively open and democratic society and began at the same time to look for modern expressions of its Jewish identity. In many respects it serves as an example for modern American Jews, even though the circumstances of its existence were quite different. Dr. Brenner discussed everyday life among German Jews, their religious expressions, and some of their important intellectuals, like Franz Rosenzweig, Gershom Scholem, and Leo Baeck.
This program was made possible by the generosity of Gary and Bernice Lebbin as part of a series of programs on German-Jewish Cultural Heritage.