Jewish Museum Berlin
Jewish Museum, Berlin

The first authentic document relating to a large and well-organized Jewish community in these regions dates from 321, and refers to Cologne on the Rhine; it indicates that the legal status of the Jews there was the same as elsewhere in the Roman empire. They enjoyed some civil liberties, but were restricted regarding the dissemination of their faith, the keeping of Christian slaves, and the holding of office under the government.

Jewish-German Dialogue

With its large population of Jewish students, Brandeis provides a unique opportunity for Jewish-German Dialogue. Faculty, staff, and students are often joined by guests from the broader community to discuss wide-ranging topics, from the family stories behind the Berlin Holocaust memorial to the renaissance of Jewish life in unified Germany.

Important speakers who have joined the dialogue include former Israeli Ambassador to Germany Avi Primor; German-Jewish historian Julius Schoeps; Rabbi Bea Wyler, the first woman Rabbi in post-war Germany; Rena Finder (who was among ‘Schindler’s List’); and Auschwitz survivor Ruth Gutmann-Herskovitz.

For the past fifteen years the German government has sponsored intensive seminars in Berlin for dialogue group members every summer. During these ten-day trips the group visits memorials and meets with local history teachers, politicians, and social workers.