As the cultural and intellectual center of the universe, Berlin has been the crown jewel of Europe since the 18th century. Writers, poets, scholars, musicians, artists continue to flock to Berlin to engage its creative spirit.
Berlin has been one of the most vibrant cultural and intellectual centers of Jewish life world-wide since the 18th century. Writers, poets, scholars, musicians, artists continue to flock to Berlin to engage in its creative spirit. As a center of migration as well as the seat of Germany's federal government, Berlin is a city addressing the key political issues facing all countries today: how to safeguard democratic processes against authoritarianism, racism and anti-Semitism, and how to create a vibrant multicultural environment.
Berlin has been the site of the most important Jewish political and intellectual developments of the modern era. Synagogues of all orientations flourished, and two rabbinical seminaries produced most of the world's important Reform and Orthodox rabbis. Berlin was the home of the first female rabbi, Regina Jonas, who was murdered in Auschwitz. Jews played leading roles in the newly emerging disciplines of science, humanities and social sciences as well as medicine, art, literature, and psychoanalysis. The philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, the salonière Rahel Varnhagen, the physicist Albert Einstein, and the film director Billy Wilder all lived and worked in Berlin prior the Third Reich. Even as it was the capital of the Third Reich, Berlin was also the most important hiding place for Jews in Germany. Today Berlin is once again the site of a flourishing Jewish community, a lively center for Jewish Studies, multiple synagogues of various denominations, and two rabbinical schools. With a large contingent of young Israeli artists and writers, Berlin is sometimes called the new Tel Aviv. The artist Yael Bartana, the pianist Igor Levit and the writer Deborah Feldman (of "Unorthodox" fame) all call Berlin their home. History is no stranger to Berlin; the city is filled with historical monuments, memorials, and museums, including the Jewish museum, which showcases Jewish life from the Middle Ages to the present.
Why did Berlin become a lamplight to the avant-garde in so many fields? This three-week winterim will be immersed in the spirit of the city. Our two courses, co-taught by Dartmouth professors Veronika Fuechtner and Susannah Heschel, will study the history of modern Berlin's culture with field trips to museums and memorials in the city and visits with leading artists, writers, and intellectuals who live in Berlin today. With travel to several other European cities, such as Leipzig, Vienna, Prague, Krakow, and Warsaw, we will consider Berlin's role in shaping European society more widely. For the third course, students will have the opportunity of completing an independent research project working with a language relevant to Jewish Studies at any level. All courses carry major/minor credit in Jewish Studies or German Studies.
Students interested in participating in the Jewish Studies FSP Winterim 22 should contact the faculty director with any questions, and apply online at the Guarini Institute's website. Students are required to be enrolled in the Fall term. Application deadline TBD for more information please contact:
Susannah.Heschel@Dartmouth.edu - Director for Jewish Studies Program
Veronika.Fuechtner@Dartmouth.edu - Director for German Department
The Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education