A Celebration of the Jewish Book

100 Years of the Soncino Society

On 15 May 1924, the Soncino Society of the Friends of the Jewish Book was founded. The Jewish Museum Berlin is cele­brating the anniversary of this Jewish literary culture initiative with a special cere­mony.

Past event

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green


W. M. Blumenthal Academy
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin

The Son­cino Society, which aimed to unite Jewish intellectual heri­tage with the modern art of books, quickly became one of the largest bibliophile asso­ciations of the Weimar Republic. It placed special emphasis on typo­graphy and wanted its publi­cations to serve as models for Jewish book pro­duction. Our library contains 80 titles, the full collection of its pub­lications, which was digitized in 2016.

To set the mood for the evening, the library will present various Son­cino publi­cations and archive materials, including the rarely shown 1933 edition of the Bible, in the reading room at 6 pm. To open the ceremony at 7 p.m., actor Gustav Peter Wöhler will read a story by S.J. Agnon. After an intro­duction by Bernhard Jensen on the moti­vation behind the society’s foun­dation, Julia Schneida­wind will place the Soncino Society in the context of Jewish collections and the modern art of books. This will be followed by a podium dis­cussion focused on the topi­cality of the biblio­phile impulse to find the right form for the content of a book.

Dr. Julia Schneida­wind is an assistant to the depart­ment chair of Jewish History and Culture at the Ludwig Maxi­milian University in Munich. Her research specialisms include the history of migration, material culture and prove­nance research. Her mono­graph Fate and its Books: German-Jewish Private Libraries between Jerusalem, Tunis and Los Angeles (Original title: Schicksale und ihre Bücher. Deutsch-jüdische Privat­bibliotheken zwischen Jeru­salem, Tunis und Los Angeles) was published in 2023 by Vanden­hoeck & Ruprecht.

Dr. Bern­hard Jensen is a librarian at the Jewish Museum Berlin. His monograph A canon of the Jewish Renaissance: Soncino Society of Friends of the Jewish Book (Original title: Ein Kanon der jüdischen Renaissance. Soncino-Gesell­schaft der Freunde des jüdischen Buches) was published in 2017 by Wall­stein publishing house. 

Titelblatt der Satzungen und Mitgliederverzeichnis der Soncino-Gesellschaft der Freunde des jüdischen Buches (1924) mit kleiner Zeichnung eines steinernen Turms

Stat­utes and list of members of the Son­cino Society of Friends of the Jewish Book (1924); Jewish Museum Berlin

Where, when, what?

  • WhenThu 23 May 2024, 6 pm
  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy
    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
    See location on map
  • Entry fee

    Free of charge

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