Since its foundation 1872, the “Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums” in Berlin was the spiritual centre of liberal Judaism which also attracted numerous women to its doors. Inspired by their love of the Jewish tradition, many women students aspired to become teachers of religion or even women rabbis – until then a completely unheard of step along the road to equal rights for women. They made the “Hochschule” one of the most forward looking institutions for the study of Judaism. In the years after 1933 until its enforced closure in 1942, the “Hochschule” also became a place of spiritual resistance.
This study is a living insight into the history of the liberal “Hochschule”, its scholarly ethos, and the diversity of its curriculum. Its particular focus is the biography of one of its keenest students, Ruth Liebrecht, born in 1911. In 1939, she succeeded in emigrating to England, where she died in 1998.
This book gathers together numerous personal testimonies from former students and provides a moving account of this unique institution.