Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Federal Ministry for Education and Research Joint Project

Coordinated by the Simon Dubnow Institute


Communication Spaces in Europe

Jewish Cultures of Knowledge Beyond National Borders


This project which was conducted from 1 February 2007 to 31 March 2010 and dealt with trans-national communication forms within Jewish cultures of knowledge in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Proceeding from the diasporic character of Jewish life worlds, historians, Jewish Studies scholars, sociologists, educators and museologists explored the trans-territorial networks of Jewish life worlds from an interdisciplinary perspective. They investigated how Jewish life worlds in the past transported knowledge over long distances, spaces and cultural boundaries. They also looked at the way in which Jewish cultures of knowledge were in a sense inscribed with European elements. What is European was not viewed as a fixed place, a homogeneous unit or a  territory definable in clear boundaries. Rather, the intention was for the perspective of Jewish cultures of knowledge to sharpen awareness of what is European, namely all those attributes involving the surmounting of spatial, religious and cultural narrowness and confines. The aim of the project was to understand the general dimensions of what is European through the particular prisms of Jewish cultures of knowledge.


The Simon Dubnow Institute was coordinating this joint project, which was financed by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research for a period of three years. Partners in the project were the Jena Center History of the twentieth century, the Jewish Museum Frankfurt am Main and the Center for Teacher Development and Research on School at the University of Leipzig. Scientific research was thus here combined with work on  pedagogy and curriculum, and public relations. A total of seven individual projects were developed by the institutions in the research team. Finally, several scholarly monographs, an exhibition, a web site and materials for teaching in the public schools arised. A volume of fifteen contributions which presents the main results of the project is scheduled for publication.


More information of the project can be found here. This web site presents the state of affairs in March 2010.


Cooperation partners 

Jena Center History of the Twentieth Century

Jewish Museum of the City of Frankfurt am Main

Center for Teacher Development and Research on School at the University of Leipzig