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About us

Who is behind the Library of Lost Books?

The ‘Library of Lost Books’ is a passion project of the Leo Baeck Institute in Jerusalem and London, as well as the Friends and Supporters of the Leo Baeck Institute e.V. in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main. Together, at all these locations, we are committed to researching and preserving German-Jewish history and culture. Our vision is to keep the memory alive and to create points of reference for action today.


It’s us. The people behind the Library of Lost Books:

  • Dr. Irene Aue-Ben-David, project manager, Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem
  • Kinga Bloch, Project Manager, Leo Baeck Institute London
  • Bettina Farack, coordination and scientific support
  • Naama Serfaty, project assistant
  • Nechama Eitan, Community Management
  • Jakob Kroneck, friends and sponsors of the Leo Baeck Institute e.V.


The Leo Baeck Institute

The LBI was founded in 1955 by renowned figures such as Hannah Arendt and Martin Buber. They saw the need to keep German-Jewish history and culture alive and preserved for future generations. Today, the LBI is the world’s leading research address in this area and is committed to preserving this important cultural history, particularly in times of growing anti-Semitism and new resentments.

The Leo Baeck Institute consists of three independent institutes in important places of German-Jewish emigration: JERUSALEM, LONDON and NEW YORK. With their work on German-Jewish history and Jewish life, they make important contributions to science, culture and society. On site, but also in Germany – through archive work, research, workshops, multilingual publications, cultural events and exhibitions. The Library of Lost Books project is a cooperation between the institutes in Jerusalem and London, as well as the Association of Friends and Supporters of the Leo Baeck Institute in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main.
The LBI Jerusalem is an internationally renowned research institute not only dedicated to the study of German and Central European Jewry, but also to strengthening the liberal legacy of German Jewry in contemporary Israeli society.

The LBI London focuses on academic exchange about the history and culture of German-speaking Jews in Europe and the Diaspora. The institute actively contributes to understanding current socio-political debates, such as immigration and integration.

The Association of Friends and Supporters of the Leo Baeck Institute was founded in 1957 and has since supported the activities of the institutes in Jerusalem, London and New York. As a link between the institutes and the German public, the association strengthens cooperation with German research institutes, cultural institutions and ministries and ensures that the LBI’s work is recognized both nationally and internationally.

Who was Leo Baeck?

Leo Baeck was born in Posen in 1873 and is an important figure in German-Jewish history. He studied at the University for the Study of Judaism and later taught there. Many know him as an important representative of German Jewry, especially during National Socialism.

In 1933 he was appointed President of the Reich Representation of German Jews. In this role he campaigned strongly for the Jews in Germany. Although he helped many escape Nazi Germany, he chose to stay. In 1943 he was taken to the Theresienstadt ghetto.

After the war, Baeck moved to London. There he continued his research and advocated for interreligious dialogue. When leading intellectuals founded an institute for research and remembrance of German-speaking Judaism in 1955, they chose Leo Baeck as their namesake and made him the first president of the new Leo Baeck Institute. Baeck filled this role for a year before he died in 1956.

Why did we create the “Library of Lost Books”?

With this project we would like to remember the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums and all those who worked and learnt there. Our goal is not only to recall the injustice of Nazism, but also to show what cultural and scientific heritage was destroyed by the Nazis. By involving the audience in the ongoing search for the books stolen by the Nazis, we would like to encourage each and every person to engage intensively and actively with this past.