Dr. Gabriele Meyer-Fellowship

Jewish life between the early modern period and the present time is researched in all its diversity at the Institute for the History of the German Jews in Hamburg (IGdJ). Ever since its foundation in 1966, not only has the field of Jewish Studies developed and become differentiated in terms of methodology and disciplinarity, but the profile of the IGdJ has also expanded. While the historical focus on German-speaking Jewry remains, Jewish life in the present, current questions of remembrance and commemoration, as well as scholarly work with new media and digital technologies are increasingly coming into focus.

With the summer semester of 2023, the IGdJ will launch the Gabriele Meyer Fellowship Programme to promote cutting-edge scholarship in the field of Jewish Studies and to further sharpen the Institute’s research profile through international exchange. The physician and psychoanalyst Dr. Gabriele Meyer (29 June 1938–30 March 2018), born and raised in Tel Aviv, with subsequent biographical stations in Malmö and Munich, lived and worked in Hamburg. Named in honour of her as the donor, the fellowship of up to four months will be awarded for the period between April and July 2023. The programme welcomes scholars working on the themes and approaches anchored in the Institute’s research profile. They are encouraged to use the wide-ranging collections of the Institute’s library as well as the holdings of various archives in the region. Fellows are expected to participate in all of the IGdJ’s activities, including presentations of their work in the research colloquium as well as a public lecture. Through the organisation of a one-day workshop the fellows’ project shall be discussed in a broader context of peers, which, in turn, provides valuable networking opportunities in the wider (north-)German scholarly community.

 

Currently, there is no active call for application for the Dr. Gabriele Meyer-Fellowships. 

Miriam Gillis-Carlebach-Fellowship

In cooperation with the Carlebach Working Group of the UHH.

In addition to promoting research and teaching on Jewish history, culture and religion in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg, academic exchange between Germany and Israel is a central interest of the Joseph-Carlebach Working Group. The establishment of a fellowship, which enables young academics to spend a research period in Hamburg, is intended to strengthen academic exchange through this additional funding format.

In memory of Miriam Gillis-Carlebach (1922-2020), the Joseph-Carlebach Working Group, an association of researchers working at the University of Hamburg and the Institute for the History of German Jews, has been awarding the Miriam Gillis-Carlebach Fellowship since 2023 to promote innovative academic projects in the field of Jewish studies. The fellowship is designed to deepen academic exchange between Germany and Israel and aimes at young academics (doctoral students and postdocs up to 7 years after their dissertation) who wish to conduct research in the different fields of interests promoted by members of the Joseph-Carlebach Working Group. The fellowship also promotes the extensive specialized library and the holdings in the various archives in the city and region. It enables a research stay of up to three months in Hamburg.

 

There is currently no call for applications. Information on how to apply for a Miriam Gillis-Carlebach Fellowship will be published on this and other websites at a later date.

Fellows 2024

Jay Geller holds the Samuel Rosenthal Professorship in Jewish Studies and is Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University, where he heads the interdisciplinary Jewish Studies program. From 2015 to 2020, he was book review editor for AJS Review, the journal of the Association for Jewish Studies, the American Jewish Studies Association. His research interests include German-Jewish political, social and cultural history in the late 19th and 20th centuries. He is the author of Die Scholems. Geschichte einer deutsch-jüdischen Familie (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2020) and Jews in Post Holocaust Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2005) as well as co-editor of the anthologies Three-Way Street: Jews, Germans and the Transnational (University of Michigan Press, 2016) and Rebuilding Jewish Life in Germany (Rutgers University Press, 2020). He is a former scholarship holder of the DAAD, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Project:

Jewish sacral buildings in the Weimar Republic. Architectural style and Jewish identity in the age of modernism

At the IGdJ, I will examine the connections between Jewish identity and the architecture of Jewish buildings in the Weimar Republic, including cemeteries, communal institutions, and especially synagogues. I seek to understand why, after almost a century of architectural historicism, which was inextricably linked to German-Jewish collective identity, community leaders and Jewish architects abruptly turned to modernism. A particular focus of my research is the Israelite Temple Association of Hamburg.

Yaniv Feller is an assistant professor in the Religion Department and the Bud Shorstein Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Florida. He is a scholar of modern Jewish thought and material culture specializing in German-speaking countries. Feller’s first book, The Jewish Imperial Imagination: Leo Baeck and German-Jewish Thought (Cambridge UP, 2023) won the Jordan Schnitzer First Book Publication Award of the Association for Jewish Studies. In it, Yaniv offers a new analytical framework for understanding German-Jewish thought in light of German ideas about empire, thereby contributing to discussions in Jewish philosophy, German-Jewish history, and empire studies. Drawing on archival resources as well as Baeck’s published oeuvre, it is the first book to read Baeck’s religious thought as political, raising in the process new questions about the nature of Jewish missionizing and the German-Jewish imagination of the East as a space for colonization. Yaniv’s articles on Jewish philosophy, including modern gnosis, Jewish-Christian dialogue, and resentment after the Holocaust, have been published in journals including Journal of Religion, New German Critique, and Jewish Studies Quarterly.

Jew in a Box: The Past and Future of Jewish Museums is Feller’s current monograph project. The book offers a comparative study of the representation of Jews and Judaism in museums. The project utilizes an interdisciplinary framework—including museum studies, Jewish philosophy, and material religion—to show the ways Jewishness is polemically constructed vis-à-vis Christianity. Spanning across three continents and covering institutions ranging from national institutions to small community enterprises, Jew in a Box highlights neglected aspects in the museal experience, from the importance of the work done in the storage and conservation unit to placing the museum’s gift shop as an object of inquiry. It shows how Jews as a minority group are represented in museums, and the role museums play in mediating religion, culture, identity, and history.

Yaniv’s recent publications related to this project include “Whose Museum Is It? Jewish Museums and Indigenous Theory,” which appeared in Comparative Studies in Society and History, and ““Oy Tannenbaum, Oy Tannenbaum!: The Role of a Christmas Tree in a Jewish Museum,” which appeared in The Public Work of Christmas.

The fellowship is generously supported by ZEIT STIFTUNG BUCERIUS

Project:

Jew in a Box: The Past and Future of Jewish Museums

At the IGdJ, I will work primarily on a chapter dedicated to the space of the museum, exploring how the placement of museums in synagogues throughout Germany calls for a rethinking of the idea of museums as civilizing agents that endow space with sacred meaning.

Anna Holian is Associate Professor of Modern European History at Arizona State University. Her research interests include migration and displacement; architecture, urban planning, and city life; and film studies. She is the author of Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism: Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany (University of Michigan Press, 2011). Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Historical Institute Washington D.C., the Institute for Contemporary History (Munich), and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She was also for many years a member of the Holocaust Geographies Collaborative.

Project:

Setting Up Shop in the House of the Hangman: Jewish Economic Life in Postwar Germany. 

During my time at the IGdJ, I will be completing my book about Jewish economic life in postwar  West Germany. Placing modest entrepreneurs at the center of postwar German Jewish history, the book examines how “native” German and “newcomer” Eastern European Jews (re-)established businesses and charts how these businesses fared over the first three postwar decades. The relationship between Jewish survivors and German society is also central to the project. I look at how both Jews and Germans thought about Jewish involvement in the German economy and how Jewish business owners related to their German employees and customers. I show that while most newcomers, and many natives, did not initially plan to stay in Germany, their involvement in the economy was the central means by which they (re-)established roots in the country. I thus challenge the prevailing view that Jews in postwar Germany are best understood as “sojourners,” temporary residents prepared to leave at the earliest opportunity.

Fellows 2023

Amos Goldberg is the 2023 Dr. Gabriele Meyer Fellow at the Institute for the History of the German Jews in Hamburg. He is an Associate Professor, the Jonah M. Machover Chair in Holocaust Studies at the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry and the Head of the Avraham Harman Research Institute of Contemporary Jewry at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Goldberg’s work is interdisciplinary in nature, combining history, cultural studies and psychoanalysis. Part of his work focuses on the cultural history of the Jews in the Holocaust and part of it on Holocaust memory and historiography. Much of his work is marked by “multi-directionalism”.

His publications appeared in Hebrew, English, Arabic, French, German, Japanese and Italian. Among them are:

  • Editor and a co-author of three of the four volumes in the series Years Wherein we have Seen Evil: Selected Aspects in the History of Religious Jewry during the Holocaust (Yad Vashem 2003–2008)
  • Trauma in First Person: Diary Writing During the Holocaust (Hebrew 2012; English Indiana UP 2017). The book won the Eggit prize and was among Choice's ten most outstanding books in the category of “History Geography and Area Studies” for 2018
  • He edited several books among them his co-edited volume with Haim Hazan Marking Evil: Holocaust Memory in the Global Age (Berghahn 2015), and his co-edited volume with Bashir Bashir The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History (Columbia University Press 2018; in Japanese 2023, forthcoming in Italian).
  • His forthcoming book Five Critical Readings in Holocaust Memory is due for publication in Hebrew this year. And he is now finishing writing a book on the Cultural History of the Jews in Warsaw during the Holocaust.

Goldberg is a fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and was the 2018–2019 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence Fellow in the Mandel Center at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

He is among the initiators and the drafters of the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA)

Project:

Aspects of Warsaw Jews’ Cultural History under Nazi Rule

During my tenure at the IGdJ I am planning to finish writing my book on the cultural history of the Warsaw Ghetto – a research project I had been working on for several years. According to Moshe Rosman (who reflected on this in the context of Jewish history), cultural history is not interested in the products of creative forces within a particular group, but in the meanings these forces and products convey. Or in other words, cultural history is not concerned with describing the cultural and religious institution or their products, but rather in the mechanism of meaning-making within a certain society, or in what Peter Burke sees as the common basis of all branches of cultural history: ‘dealing with the symbolic and its interpretation.’ In my research I apply these approaches to the study of the Jews of Warsaw under Nazi rule. The book dedicates a chapter to each of the following topics: the culture of rumors in the ghetto; the Warsaw ghetto street jester and his social critique; coffeehouses in the ghetto; language wars and the transformation of language; clothing and fashion.

Abby Anderton is an Associate Professor of Music at Baruch College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her work centers on performance and Holocaust testimony, female composers, and post-catastrophic music making. Anderton’s publications have appeared in the German Studies Review, Journal of Musicological Research, Twentieth-Century Music, and Music and Politics. Her research has received support from the Fulbright Commission, the Holocaust Educational Foundation, the Humboldt Foundation, the Eugene Lang Foundation, the American Musicological Society, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Project:

Survivor Musicians in Postwar Germany

While at the IGdJ I plan on working on my current book project, Audible Testimonies: Holocaust Survival in Music and Media, which explores the early postwar sounds of survivor musicians in Germany, demonstrating that their compositions, recordings, and performances are forms of Holocaust witnessing. Many of the first Holocaust testimonies involved music. Yet decades after producing scholarship on this period, much of this music remains inaudible, fragmentary, or unpublished. Through materials collected in German and American archives, this project reveals how these musicians empowered their communities well before the witness testimonies at the 1961 Eichmann Trial compelled the world to listen. Whether considering the Terezín memory pieces of Erich Adler, the performances of the Ex-Concentration Camp Orchestra with Leonard Bernstein, or the liberation concerts of cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch in Bergen-Belsen, musical testimonies gave survivor musicians a public platform in postwar Germany. I especially look forward to using the Institute’s archival and library collections to integrate more Hamburg-based musicians in my study.

Dr. Naama Jager-Fluss is a historian and research associate at the Samuel Braun Chair for the History of the Jews in Germany at Bar-Ilan University. Her work focuses on the beginning of Liberal Judaism in Germany in the 19th century and the emergence of Jewish movements in modern times. Initial research results have appeared in the journals Tabur, Chidushim, and Reshit.
So, among others, the articles:

  • "My wish is that women could also visit the synagogue: on the inclusion of women in worship at the Hamburger Temple (Hebrew),“ Reshit (2023), p. 139–165.
  • "Religious Enlightenment and Pietism within the Synagogue: Gotthold Salomon's Sermons in the Hamburg Temple (Hebrew),“ Chidushim 24 (2022), p. 9–47.
  • "And the People Has Been Divided into Two Groups: The Religious Reform at the Beginning of the 19th Century (Hebrew),“ Tabur 9 (2019), p. 33–57. 

She received funding for her research from the DAAD and the Leo Baeck Institute.

Project:

From Haskalah to Religious Reform: Eduard Kley (1789–1867) as a Transitional Figure

While at the IGdJ, I will be working on my current project on the first generation of religious reformers and the question of the relationship between the Haskalah and religious reform in the German-speaking context at the beginning of the 19th century. By examining the writings of 'Changing Figures' such as Gotthold Salomon, Eduard Kley, Isaac Noah Mannheimer, David Caro, and Bernhard Beer, my research contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the history of the Jewish Reform movement, especially in its early pioneering phases. During my time at the IGdJ, I plan to work on both my book on the Hamburg preacher Gotthold Salomon. There is no more fitting place than Hamburg to focus intensively on research about Salomon and the beginnings of the Reform movement in Judaism, as Hamburg was the first and most significant focus of Reform Judaism in the first half of the 19th century.