Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Academy Project at the Dubnow Institute

Saxon Academy of the Sciences, Leipzig

»European Traditions –
Encyclopaedia of Jewish Cultures«


The Academy Project »European Traditions – Encyclopaedia of Jewish Cultures« is based at the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow. The aim of the project is to analyze experiences of the Jews in the European context, and to systematize and conceptualize their realities, from the early modern period to the mid-20th century. These patterns of Jewish life are explored in particular with an idea to their salience for universal history, and are thus integrated into the corpus of the general historical and cultural sciences.


The project is modular in structure. The foundation is module I, »Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture«, which serves as the basis for creating and publishing an encyclopaedia of seven volumes with the same title. This focus combines research and conceptual formation on the historical patterns of the diverse Jewries in Central Europe in the modern period. Connected with this module in dynamic synergy are module II, »Library of Jewish History and Culture« and module III, »Archive of Jewish History and Culture.« Both edition series are focused on the political history and history of knowledge of the Jews. The »Library« brings together in the main texts dealing with persons, including rare or unpublished material, posthumous papers and letters. The »Archive« covers select source material on specific topics, occasions or events. Both series will be published in the form of individual volumes and later likewise in a digital form.


The initial foundation and point of departure of the project is the working out of the seven-volume »Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture« (six content volumes and an index, 2001–2016), whose intended readership is both an interested Jewish and general public. The key words provide a picture that encompasses the Diasporic forms of existence of the Jews and the shift from sacredly imbued patterns to those more profane and secular. At the center of analysis and conceptual formation are the autonomous institutions that made it possible for Jews to live as Jews within a legally regulated corporate body up until the modern period. Associated with this but also going beyond it is the core feature of textuality: the sacred and increasingly ever more profane text is the actual element and vessel of Jewish self-understanding and identity. In modernity, such forms of textuality are secularized into knowledge and science, schools of thought and on to the level of theory. 


Related with this is the spatial focus, concentrating particularly on the multi-ethnic/multi-religious empires of the Habsburgs, Romanows and Ottomans, though without neglecting developments in Western Europe. In addition, the »Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture« analyzes the secular and diverse modern vernacular languages of the Jews, their contexts of use and literatures. Over and beyond this, certain key words focus on specific sites of memory from whose total sum a mental map of Jewish experience will be generated. 


Published to date:  



Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur (EJGK)/Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture, ed. under the authority of the Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig and Dan Diner,


• Vol. 1 (A–Cl), Stuttgart 2011;

• Vol. 2 (Co–Ha), Stuttgart 2012;

• Vol. 3 (He–Lu), Stuttgart 2012;

• Vol. 4 (Ly–Po), Stuttgart 2013;

• Vol. 5 (Pr–Sy), Stuttgart 2014;

• Vol. 6 (Ta–Z), Stuttgart 2015. 



The Assassination of Symon Petliura and the Trial of Scholem Schwarzbard 1926–1927. A Selection of Documents, ed. by David Engel, Göttingen 2016 (Archive of Jewish History and Culture, vol. 2).


Jüdische Gemeindestatuten aus dem aschkenasischen Kulturraum 1650–1850, ed. by Stefan Litt, Göttingen 2014 (Archive of Jewish History and Culture, vol. 1).


Simon Dubnow, Geschichte eines jüdischen Soldaten. Bekenntnis eines von vielen, translated from the Russian by Vera Bischitzky and ed. by Vera Bischitzky and Stefan Schreiner, Göttingen 2012 (Bibliothek jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur, vol. 1).

Project Group

Project Head

Professor Dr.  Dr. h. c. Dan Diner

Research Unit Head

Dr. Markus Kirchhoff

Research Associates

Stefan Hofmann

Ulrike Kramme

Marcel Müller

Momme Schwarz

Dr. Frauke von Rohden


Academic Assistants

Tabea Schneider

Cyra Sommer

Georg Wehse


Further information can be found at



Academy Project

»Encyclopaedia of Jewish Cultures«

at the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture

Goldschmidtstr. 28

04103 Leipzig


Tel.: +49 341 21735-700, Fax: +49 341 21735-55