2006 marked the fiftieth anniversary
of the death of Leo Baeck
(1873 – 1956),
one of the most important proponents of German Jewry. Over the course
of his life, Leo Baeck strove constantly to combine tradition and modernity
within Judaism. He educated young rabbis at Berlin's Hochschule für
die Wissenschaft des Judentums and sought dialogue between Christianity,
Islam, and other religions.
The Leo Baeck Foundation is being established in memory of this
50th yahrzeit. By supporting Abraham Geiger Kolleg as a successor
to the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin,
it aims both at expanding and strengthening European Jewry and at
creating perspectives on interfaith dialogue.
The Leo Baeck Foundation pursues the goals of the Natalie und Leo Baeck Stiftung (Natalie and Leo Baeck Foundation) which was established in 1937 by the Jewish Community of Berlin in honor of Leo Baeck's 25th anniversary at the Jewish Community Berlin. The Natalie and Leo Baeck Foundation was founded in order to support Jewish students of theology.
The foundation's endowment capital of 20.00,– Reich's mark grew through external donations of 5.000,– Reich's mark made by the Reich's Deputation of German Jews and the Prussian National Assembly of Jewish Communities.
(Source: Jüdisches Gemeindeblatt für Berlin, No. 1 / January 2nd 1938, p.
The Foundation's goals are pursued in particular through the procurement
of funds for the Abraham Geiger Kolleg in Potsdam to aid it in achieving
its charitable purposes. It will also bestow fellowships and promote
interfaith projects and activities.
The Leo Baeck Foundation is an incorporated foundation under the
Civil Code, as per the Stiftungsgesetz für das Land Brandenburg
(Foundation Law for the Federal State of Brandenburg, known as the
StiftGBbg) of 20 April 2004 (GVBl. [Law and Ordinance Gazette] I
p. 150). It is based in Potsdam.
The Foundation pursues charitable causes directly and exclusively
in the sense of the paragraph on "Tax Privileged Purposes" in
the Tax Code.
“I am impressed with the creation of the "Leo Baeck Foundation" dedicated
to supporting rabbinical training in Germany and interfaith work.
I hope your endeavours meet with success. My husband and I look forward
to hearing more about the progress of the Leo Baeck Foundation.”