Research Focuses of the Center

The core of research and teaching at the Selma Stern Center is comprised of five key areas:

1)      From the Jewish Enlightenment to the emergence of the Science of Judaism to Jewish Studies in Prussia, Berlin, and Brandenburg;

2)      The Monotheistic Triangle;

3)      Bearing Witness – Memorial Culture after the Shoah;

4)      Sephardic Perspectives;

5)      Diaspora – Migration – Transnationalism.

Each of the main themes is subdivided into several research areas which may overlap with regard to temporality and content. The premise of all five research areas is that the actual sites of the research and teaching focuses on the history of Jews before, during, and after the National Socialism exist in a virtually singular agglomeration in the region, refer to each other, and are linked to each other. In this way, the key areas make for an addition in the research and teaching on the question of the memorial culture, the connection of which has generated a highly qualified reflection in the exposure to the Shoah, and also with the memorial culture in general. This is one of the reasons for the now international recognition of the region – in particular Berlin – a central site for the analysis and debates on the history of the Shoah, its memorial culture, and the corresponding educational teaching forms. With the academic projects presented above, the ZJS will give a significant impetus regarding the future of this unique memorial landscape.