Leo Baeck Institute Strives to Preserve Legacy of German-speaking Jewry
Enlarge image Consul General Wolfgang and Sabine Drautz with Carol Kahn Strauss, far right. (© Germany.info/Los Angeles) At a recent Kaffeeklatsch hosted by Consul General Wolfgang Drautz, Executive Director Carol Kahn Strauss of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York and Director of Research and Chief Archivist, Dr. Frank Mecklenburg, met with members of The Benefactors of The Jewish Club of 1933, an organization founded by German Jewish immigrants, to introduce them to the Institute.
The Leo Baeck Institute, founded in 1955, is the only organization in the United States dedicated to collecting, preserving and making accessible materials concerning all aspects of Jewish culture, art, and history, which is inextricably linked to Europe’s cultural, intellectual and political history over the past 500 years.
Enlarge image Ruth Engel listens intently to Ms. Kahn Strauss' appeal to preserve Jewish history. (© Germany.info/Los Angeles) In an effort to protect and preserve this history, the Leo Baeck Institute is reaching out to surviving members of German-speaking Jewish communities in the US, such as the Benefactors of the Jewish Club of 1933, established by German Jewish settlers seeking safe haven in Los Angeles. As Ms. Kahn Strauss explained to the members, she and Dr. Mecklenburg were not there to collect their money, but rather to collect their historical family documents and memorabilia so that they could be preserved and made accessible for future generations to assure that this aspect of Jewish and German history would not be lost.
Enlarge image Consul General Drautz with Benefactors of the Jewish Club President Reinhard Prinz, third from left, with granddaughters Aura and Shana flanking Janet Salter and Sophie Buzzini. (© Germany.info/Los Angeles) The Leo Baeck Institute’s library and archive in New York contains one of the most significant collection of source material relating to the history of German-speaking Jewry, and along with its museum has become an invaluable resource for scholars, statesmen and students around the world.