Rabbinical seminar in Berlin

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The Rabbinical Seminar in Berlin was founded in 1873 by Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and is therefore also known as the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminar .

Historical rabbinical seminary

The seminar was considered to be one of the most important teaching institutions for the training of Orthodox rabbis in Western Europe. At the opening of the seminar, in addition to the rector Esriel Hildesheimer, the two lecturers David Hoffmann ( Talmud , Jewish jurisprudence and Pentateuch interpretation ), who later became rector of the university, and Abraham Berliner (post-Talmudic history and literary history) taught at the seminar . A short time later, Jakob Barth was appointed to teach Hebrew , Bible exegesis and religious philosophy at the rabbinical seminary. In the following years, Salomon Cohn , Joseph Wohlgemuth and Hirsch Hildesheimer , the son of Esriel Hildesheimer and a former graduate of the seminar , also taught there .

After the November pogroms in 1938 , the seminar was forcibly closed by the National Socialist authorities. Up to this point in time, around 600 students from all over Europe had been trained there.


Well-known graduates


The seminary had an important library , which in 1927 contained around 21,000 volumes. After the looting by the National Socialists, the majority of the media at the time is still considered lost, missing or undetectable. The project creating transparency: research, indexing and nationwide evidence of Nazi-looted property in the publications of the Berlin State Library could only identify individual volumes.

Reopening and today's seminar

In 2009 the rabbinical seminary was reopened by the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation , which supports Jewish educational institutions worldwide. These organizations fund the seminar significantly. The rabbinical seminar works together with the European Rabbinical Conference and the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference Germany . Rabbi Dayan Chanoch is the founding rector and head of the institution to this day .

Course content

Prerequisites for admission to the course are relevant language skills and knowledge of methodology, which must be acquired through at least one year of preparation at a yeshiva . The aim is to train Orthodox rabbis and prepare them for work in Jewish communities in Germany. The training objectives include not only classical knowledge of the Jewish religious laws Talmud and Halacha , but also their timely communication and the acquisition of didactic and pastoral skills. Monthly trips to a Jewish community from the 2nd year of study are part of the practical work. Since 2012, prospective rabbis have also had to complete a bachelor's degree in Jewish social work at the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences . You will therefore acquire two degrees: the semicha of the rabbinical seminar and the BA for social work at the FH Erfurt. Both courses must be completed successfully.

11 students are currently completing the four-year course.


  • Festschrift for the 50th anniversary of the Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin, 1873–1923 . Orient bookstore H. Lafaire. ( Digitized version )
  • Chana C. Schütz (Ed.): The Berlin Rabbinical Seminar 1873-1938 . Series of publications by the Centrum Judaicum, Volume 5, Hentrich & Hentrich, 2008

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Brocke , Julius Carlebach (editor) et al. : 2051 Braunschweiger, David, Dr. , in this: The Rabbis in the German Empire 1871–1945 , Berlin / Boston: De Gruyter, 2009, ISBN 978-3-598-44107-3 and ISBN 978-3-598-24874-0 , p. 101; Preview over google books
  2. ^ Libraries in Berlin in the handbook of historical book collections online, accessed on February 18, 2016
  3. ^ Adass Yisroel: Library
  4. ^ Rabbi seminar (Berlin) in the provenance wiki
  5. Elke-Vera Kotowski: The cultural heritage of German-speaking Jews: A search for traces in the countries of origin, transit and emigration . Walter de Gruyter, 2014, p. 663