Contemporary Jewish life in a global modernity

Comparative European perspectives on a changing diaspora – International Conference (video recording available)

The fall of the Iron Curtain has opened possibilities for a Jewish revival across Europe. In the past twenty-five years, parallel trends of secularization, grass roots movements, religious pluralization and new discourses on the definition of Jewish identities have emerged. The conference brings together international scholars to explore the different forms of Jewish life in contemporary Europe and the challenges and possibilities these present for the future.

recording available

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The Old Building is marked in green


Old Building, level 2, Great Hall
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

11 December 2014: 7:30 pm

The Future of European Jewry

Public Lecture

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marks the start of a revitalization of Jewish life in Europe. Historian Diana Pinto (PhD, Paris) is currently one of the most important advocates of a strong European Jewish identity. Twenty-five years after this iconic event, she reflects on progress and setbacks and what these developments could mean for European Jews in the future. Open to the public, this evening lecture is part of the conference Contemporary Jewish life in a global modernity. Isolde Charim (PhD, Vienna) will be present to comment on the talk.

In cooperation with Stiftung “Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft” (EVZ) and Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg (ZJS).

Recording of the Lecture Future of European Jewry

Conference Program

Thursday, December 11, 2014

1:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m.

Cilly Kugelmann, Program Director, Jüdisches Museum Berlin
Dr. Karen Körber, Fellow, Jüdisches Museum Berlin
Prof. Dr. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, TU Berlin/Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg

2:30 p.m.
Panel 1 - Contemporary Jewish Life: Between Jewish Lifestyle, Individualization and Mutual Forms of Belonging

Chair: Prof. Dr. Michael Brenner, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München/American University, Washington DC, USA
Constructing New Jewish Identities in Post-Socialist Central Europe
Dr. Zsofia Kata Vincze, Eötvös Lóránd University Budapest, Hungary
A Young Generation of Russian-Speaking Jews in Berlin: the Jewish and the Urban
Dr. Alina Gromova, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Jewish. Jewish! “Jewish” Jewish? New Definitions, New Authenticities in Jewish Europe
Ruth Ellen Gruber, Italy
Once in a While Kosher, once in a While Shabbat: Postmodern Identities of Children of Mixed Marriages
Dr. Julia Bernstein, Universität zu Köln

4:15 p.m.
Coffee Break
4:30 p.m.
Panel 2 - Jews by Choice? Jewish Diasporas and the Changing Role of Religion

Chair: Cilly Kugelmann, Jüdisches Museum Berlin
Inclusion or Police? Gender in American and Israeli Liberal Liturgy
Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx, Hebrew-Union-College Jerusalem, Israel
Pick ‘n’ Mix Judaism: Jewish Life and Community in Contemporary Europe
Rabbi Lea Mühlstein, Northwood, Great Britain

Re-Defining Secularism: Jewish Renewal in Israel
Dr. Rachel Werczberger, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Jews and Judaism in the 21st Century: Religion, People or Culture?
Prof. Dr. Micha Brumlik, Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg

6:15 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
Public Lecture


Günter Saathoff, Managing Board, Stiftung “Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft”
Karen Körber, Fellow, Jüdisches Museum Berlin
The Future of European Jewry - Revisited.
Dr. Diana Pinto, Paris
Dr. Isolde Charim, Vienna

Friday, December 12, 2014

9:30 a.m.
Panel 3 - 25 Years after the Fall of the Iron Curtain: Russian-Jewish Migration and the Formation of a Transnational Community

Chair: Prof. Dr. Atina Grossmann, Cooper Union, New York/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Russian Jews in Israel and the U.S.: Some Comparative Reflections 25 Years after the Exodus
Prof. Dr. Larissa Remennick, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Reconstructing Jewish Communal Life after Communism and the Persistence of the Past
Prof. Dr. Zvi Gitelman, University of Michigan, USA
Russian Jewish Elites as Stakeholders of Community Building in Israel and Germany - A Comparative Analysis
Dr. Olaf Glöckner, Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum, Potsdam
Everyday Realities. Contemporary Russian Jewish Life in Germany
Dr. Karen Körber, Jüdisches Museum Berlin

11:15 a.m.
Coffee Break
11:30 a.m.
Panel 4 - What kind of future? European Jewry revisited

Chair: Prof. Dr. Raphael Gross, Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt/Leo Baeck Institute London
Anti-Semitisms between Reality and Obsession
Dr. Diana Pinto, Paris
Europe’s Past and Europe’s Future - and the Jews in Between?
Prof. Dr. Dan Diner, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Are Today’s European Jews “Judeo-Christians”?: Post-Shoah Political Realignments
Dr. Anya Topolski, Katholische Universität Leuven, Belgium
Jewish Belonging in Europe: Between a Rock and a Hard Place?
Antony Lerman, London

Where, when, what?

  • When11 + 12 Dec 2014
  • Where Old Building, level 2, Great Hall
    Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin
    See location on map

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