Projects

The Leo Baeck Foundation is an operational foundation. It wants to consolidate and expand Judaism in Europe and create a perspective of interreligious dialogue.

Abraham Geiger College

Since its foundation in 1999, the Abraham Geiger College has grown to become an internationally recognized institution, one whose academic activities are increasingly focused on shaping contemporary Jewish Theology. There are 30 rabbis and cantors who have graduated from the College who are already serving their respective congregations in Germany as well as in France, Great Britain, Luxemburg, Sweden, South Africa and the USA. Since its inception, the Abraham Geiger College has enjoyed the support of the Leo Baeck Foundation.

Zacharias Frankel College

The Zacharias Frankel College was established upon the initiative of the Leo Baeck Foundation for the express purpose of training a new generation of conservative rabbis, who would be able to minister to the needs of the growing Jewish population in Europe. As a rabbinical institute dedicated to the Masorti movement, the Zacharias Frankel College follows the ideas, principles and values enunciated by Louis Jacobs, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Mordecai Kaplan, David Lieber, and other great visionaries. Our mission is to build on the foundations of the “positive-historical” approach to Judaism laid by German-Jewish pioneers such as Zacharias Frankel and Leo Baeck.

School of Jewish Theology

November 2013 saw the establishment of the Jewish School of Theology at the University of Potsdam. This meant that, for the first time, Jewish religious studies had become officially recognized as an academic field of study at a German state-sponsored university. This also marked the fulfillment of the dream of Abraham Geiger and his fellow campaigners, who had first called for a “Jewish theological faculty” almost 200 years ago. The School of Jewish Theology partners with the Leo Baeck Foundation in the fulfillment of foundation-relation tasks.

ELES

The Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund (ELES) is one of thirteen programs promoting gifted and talented students that have been selected for sponsorship by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In keeping with the guidelines set by the BMBF, the ELES provides assistance to particularly promising Jewish students and doctoral candidates. A particularly notable feature of the ELES grant program is its broad range of intellectual subject matter, which exposes scholarship recipients to a broad range of topics relevant to Judaism as well as general social, cultural, and scientific issues. The scholarship fund was originally created by the Leo Baeck Foundation, which continues to actively endow it.

Dialogperspektiven

This program, which might be translated as“Windows for Dialog,” is a program of the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund designed to encourage recipients of all of the Fund’s 13 separate scholarships to exchange ideas on “the role of religions and ideologies for individuals and society”.

DAGESH

At last count, the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund was sponsoring over 30 artists in a variety of creative fields, including visual artists and independent painters, curators, musicians as well as composers, writers, directors, actors, and filmmakers. ELES also sponsors numerous aspiring cantors, since they too are creative and artistic interpreters of the Jewish tradition. Those students receiving scholarships in connection with their doctoral studies study the Jewish artistic tradition from an academic perspective.

The ELES scholarship program also boasts many artists amongst its alumni. The knowledge and experience that the scholarship recipients and alumni acquire through the ELES seminars and the events open to the general public are intended to equip them to develop a creative approach towards Jewish identity and Jewish issues. Successful examples of this include the theater plays directed by Noam Brusilovsky, the poetry by Max Czollek, the documentary films of Jelena Jeremejewa, the concept art of Anna Schapiro, and the theatrical works of Tobias Herzberg and Jeff Wilbusch.

DAGESH offers these creative artists the opportunity to raise their public profile, to network more effectively and to intensify their collaboration on joint projects, e.g. by means of exhibitions, festivals, catalogues etc. DAGESH bundles the projects and initiatives already in place at ELES and creates new structures and platforms. This program is made possible by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and also draws support from the Leo Baeck Foundation.

HILLEL Germany

Hillel International is a global Jewish student’s organization with branches at 550 universities and institutions of higher learning worldwide. The mission of Hillel is to provide young Jewish students with the tools they need to help actively shape the future of Jewish life. At present, Hillel is doing so at 13 universities in Germany.

Schwarz-Schütte Foundation Potsdam

The Schwarz-Schütte Foundation Potsdam was founded in the fall of 2015. Its mission is to help realize the objectives of the Center for Jewish Spiritual Leadership at the Abraham Geiger College and those of the Zacharias Frankel College. The Foundation also sets ups and sponsors its own institutes for Biblical Archeology, e.g. in the context of the “Forum Religions in Context” at the University of Potsdam.

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