GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFT DES JUDENTUMS

GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFT DES JUDENTUMS (Ger. "Society for the Advancement of Jewish Scholarship"), Jewish scholarly society in Berlin, Germany, 1902–1938. The primary objective of the Gesellschaft was to raise the level of Jewish academic scholarship, thereby earning the respect of disenfranchised Jewish intellectuals and Christian Protestant scholars alike. As Jewish theology was not a recognized academic discipline at German universities, the founders attempted to create a financially viable forum for Jewish scholars to conduct research and to publish their works. The immediate incentive for the establishment of the Gesellschaft was the unequaled success enjoyed by Harnack's Das Wesen des Christentums and the perceived inability of the Jewish scholarly community to counter his unfavorable portrayal of post-biblical Judaism. While hermann cohen was the driving force behind foundation of the Gesellschaft, the initiative came from Rabbi Leopold Lucas of Glogau. The society's first chairman was historian Martin Philippson. Membership was open to both individuals and organizations, with a membership exceeding 1,700 in the early 1920s. In pursuit of the advancement of Jewish scholarship, the Gesellschaft held annual meetings featuring scholarly lectures and published and subsidized scholarly volumes. It adopted the prestigious monatsschrift fuer die geschichte und wissenschaft des judentums , as its official organ, rescuing the publication from financial ruin by broadening its appeal to the general public. Equally important and innovative was the monetary support of individual Jewish scholars and the financing of research trips to various countries. The most lofty endeavor of the Gesellschaft, which was never completed, was the "Grundriss der Gesamtwissenschaft des Judentums," projected to be a systematic and comprehensive collection of Jewish scholarship to encompass 36 volumes. The first volume to be published was Leo Baeck's classic Das Wesen des Judentums (1905). Among the other important publications were M. Guedemann, Juedische Apologetik (1906); M. Philippson, Neueste Geschichte des juedischen Volkes (1907–11); G. Caro, Die Sozial-und Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Juden (1908–20); K. Kohler, Grundriss einer systematischen Theologie des Judentums (1910); S. Krauss, Talmudische Archäologie, 3 vols. (1910, 1911, 1912); I. Elbogen, Der juedische Gottesdienst (1913); E. Mahler, Handbuch der jüdischen Chronologie (1916); H. Cohen, Die Religion der Vernunft aus den Quellen des Judentums (1919); A. Lewkowitz, Das Judentum und die geistigen Stömungen des 19. Jahrhunderts (1935); the incomplete Corpus Tannaiticum and Germania Judaica; and two volumes of a trilogy on Maimonides (1908, 1914). The establishment of the society marked an important step towards the professionalization of wissenschaft des judentums , and can be regarded as a limited success; for more than a generation it provided impetus and organization for all branches of Jewish scholarship, earning respect in both Jewish and non-Jewish academic circles. The society was forced to cease its activities following the kristallnacht riots. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: L. Lucas, in: MGWJ, 71 (1927), 321–31; I. Elbogen, MGWJ, 72 (1928), 1–5; Z.W. Falk, "Juedisches Lernen und die Wissenschaft des Judentums," in: K.E. Groetzinger (ed.), Judentum im deutschen Sprachbereich (1991), 347–56; F.D. Lucas and M. Heitmann, in: Stadt des Glaubens: Geschichte und Kultur der Juden in Glogau   (1991); C. Wiese, in: Wissenschaft des Judentums und protestantische Theologie im wilhelminischen Deutschland: Ein Schrei ins Leere? (1999); D. Adelmann, "Die Religion der Vernunft im Grundriss der Gesamtwissenschaft des Judentums," in: H. Holzhey, G. Motzkin and H. Wiedebach (eds), Religion of Reason out of the sources of Judaism: Tradition and the Concept of Origin in Hermann Cohen's Later Work (2000), 3–35; H. Soussan, "Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaft des Judentums, 1902–1915," in: LBIYB, 46 (2001). (Henry Soussan (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • WISSENSCHAFT DES JUDENTUMS — (Ger.; Science of Judaism ; in Hebrew Ḥokhmat Yisrael). Origin and Definition The term Wissenschaft des Judentums first made its appearance among young Jewish intellectuals during the 1810s and 1820s. Its principal objective, as it was then… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • MONATSSCHRIFT FUER GESCHICHTE UND WISSENSCHAFT DES JUDENTUMS — MONATSSCHRIFT FUER GESCHICHTE UND WIS SENSCHAFT DES JUDENTUMS, learned monthly publication which appeared in Germany for 83 years between 1851 and 1939. The Monatsschrift was founded by Z. Frankel , while he was still rabbi at Dresden, to serve… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • JUEDISCH-LITERARISCHE GESELLSCHAFT — JUEDISCH LITERARISCHE GESELLSCHAFT, society for the advancement of the scientific study of Judaism, founded in Frankfurt on the Main by Orthodox Jews in 1902, the same year as the founding of the liberal Berlin gesellschaft zur foerderung der… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Samson Hochfeld — (* 21. Juli 1872 in Höxter; † 10. August 1921 in Berlin) war ein deutscher Rabbiner und Gelehrter. Einen Namen machte er sich vor allem als Repräsentant des liberalen Reformjudentums. Leben Samson Hochfeld wuchs als Sohn eines Musiklehrers in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • SOCIETIES, LEARNED — Learned societies among Jews, whose prototypes existed in the talmudic period, flourished in the late Middle Ages and were particularly widespread in Eastern Europe even into the 20th century. They were conceived on a broad basis. Unlike… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PHILIPPSON — PHILIPPSON, German Jewish family of prominent rabbis, scholars, educators, journalists, doctors, bankers, and scientists. Their family tree goes back to 16th century Poland, where joshua hoeschel ben joseph (c. 1578–1648) had been chief rabbi of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • MITTWOCH, EUGEN — (1876–1942), German Orientalist. Born in Schrimm, Prussian province of Posen (now Poland), Mittwoch originally intended to be a rabbi and studied at the Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin. He made his first journey to the East with Moritz Sobernheim… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • KLEIN, SAMUEL — (1886–1940), historian and geographer of Ereẓ Israel. Born in Szilas Balhas, Hungary, Klein studied at the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary, where hirsch hildesheimer aroused his interest in the geography of Ereẓ Israel, and at German universities.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.