4th International Congress on Jewish Architecture

A joint project of the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Hamburg, and the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture, Braunschweig/Jerusalem

The international congress “Jewish Architects – Jewish Architecture?” aims to re-examine the biographies of Jewish architects from the 19th century up to the present day from an international perspective. It will deal with the question whether and to which degree Jewish self-definition and the perception of “Jewishness” by a non-Jewish environment has influenced and still influences the life and works of Jewish architects all over the world. During the last decades, multifaceted research on Jewish architects has been conducted, however focusing primarily either on certain persons and their oeuvre or on limited regions. 

The conference emphasizes the need to provide a more extensive view, drawing comparisons between different times and regions – from late the 18th century to present days, in Europe, America, Israel and other countries. A new focus will be set on biographic networks, on the cultural and economic preconditions for Jews in the professional field of architecture, and on the role of Jewish women-architects. This will also lead to the question of defining “Jewishness” in architecture as based on respective contemporary perspectives. 

The congress intends to examine the subject in different methodological ways. Architectural and art historians are invited as are historians and scholars from other fields to contribute to the debate, herewith developing new and trans-disciplinary approaches to Jewish culture and history.

Contact and registration

  • For further information on the program, please, contact Ulrich Knufinke: Ulrich.knufinke@igdj-hh.de
  • For questions of organisation and registration, please, contact Beate Kuhnle: geschaeftszimmer@igdj-hh.de

Registration is possible until October 29. 
Instead of a conference fee, we kindly ask for a little donation during the conference.

Conference venues

  • November 6: Warburg-Haus, Heilwigstraße 116, 20249 Hamburg
  • November 7: Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Beim Schlump 83, 20144 Hamburg
  • November 8: Hafen City University, Überseeallee 16, 20457 Hamburg

Preliminary Program

Tuesday, November 6, 2018, Warburg-Haus

13:00 – 14:30: Opening session
Miriam Rürup, Hamburg
Alexander von Kienlin, Braunschweig
Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, Jerusalem
Keynote: Ulrich Knufinke, Hamburg/Braunschweig: Jewish Architects – Jewish Architecture?

15:00 – 16:45: Panel 1: Discovering a New Professional Field: Jews and Architecture before 1900
Introduction: Katrin Keßler, Braunschweig

  • Simon Paulus, Stuttgart: Maneschin the Master Builder – Jews as “Architects” in the Middle Age and Early Modern Period?
  • Mirko Przystawik, Braunschweig: Ludwig Levy – A German architect of Jewish Faith
  • Samuel Gruber, Syracuse: Arnold W. Brunner (1857-1925) and the First Generation of American-born Jewish Architects

17:15 – 18:45: Panel 2: Jews Studying Architecture: Schools, Teachers, and Networks
Introduction: Alexander von Kienlin, Braunschweig

  • Sergey Kravtsov, Joseph Barsky (1876–1943) and His Search for a “Hebrew” Architecture
  • Joy Kestenbaum, New York: Henry Fernbach, His Associates and Legacy
  • Jan Lubitz, Hannover: Jewish Architects in Hamburg

Wednesday, November 7, 2018, Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden

9:00 – 10:45: Panel 3: Jewish Architects, Their Non-Jewish Colleagues, and Their Contractors: Partnership and/or Competition?
Introduction: Anna Menny, Hamburg

  • Rudolf Klein, Budapest: “Judaisation” of Hungarian Architecture – The Big Row of Gentiles and Jews in the Press 
  • Ulrike Unterweger, Austin: Competing Competitions. The Quest for a Modern Synagogue in Hietzing, Vienna 
  • Claudia Marcy/Günter Schlusche, Berlin: Cinema Architecture and the Relationship between Architect and Client

11:15 – 13:00: Panel 4: Jewish Women as Architects: A Multiple Emancipation – A Double Exclusion?
Introduction: Regina Stephan, Mainz

  • Edina Meyer-Maril, Tel Aviv: The Restless Life of the Architect Judith Stolzer-Segall (1904–1990): Russia-Germany-Israel-Germany
  • Sigal Davidi, Tel Aviv/ Berlin: Architectural Education and Gender: The Case of the First Women Students at the Technion in Haifa 
  • Hagit Hadaya: Phyllis Lambert: A Canadian Architecture Crusader

14:00 – 15:45: Panel 5: Jewish Architects in Migration: Transfers and Transformations of Architectural Ideas
Introduction: Eleonora Bergman, Warsaw

  • Artur Tanikowski, Warsaw: In Tel Aviv, Warsaw and Gdynia: Interwar Jewish Architects from the Polish Lands between Zionism and Assimilation
  • Zuzana Güllendi-Cimprichova, Bamberg: The Example of Karl/Carlos Kohn: A Jewish Architect in Ecuador
  • Sharman Kadish, Manchester: From Fortune to Failure? Central European Synagogue Architects in Germany and England, 1933–1963

16:15 – 18:00: Panel 6: Jewish Architects: Zionism, Palestine, and Israel
Introduction: Sylvia Necker, London

  • Ronny Schüler, Weimar: The Architectural Revolution and its Framework. The Establishment of a Modern Building and Planning Culture in the Eretz-Israel
  • Ines Sonder, Potsdam: Zionism and Exile. The Architects Lotte Cohn and Marie Frommer
  • Naomi Simhony, Jerusalem: The Competition for a Synagogue in Nazareth Illith (1959)

19.00: Visit of the exhibition Foto-Auge Fritz Block: Der Architekt als Fotograf
Handelskammer Hamburg, Adolphsplatz 1, 20457 Hamburg

Thursday, November 8, 2018, Hafen City University

9:00 – 10:45: Panel 7: “Jewish” Architects? Self-Definitions of “Jewishness” 
Introduction: Vladimir Levin, Jerusalem 

  • Alexandra Klei, Berlin/Hamburg: Relations and Disruptions. Jewish Architects in Postwar Germany
  • Stephen Games, Kent: Jews, Architecture, and Post-War Nationalism in the United Kingdom
  • Amelie Wegner/Anna Luise Schubert, Weimar: From the Second Life. Documents of Forgotten Architectures

11:15 – 12:30: Panel 8: In Search of a “Modern” Jewish Architecture?
Introduction: Viola Alianov-Rautenberg, Hamburg

  • Paola Ardizzola: At the Roots of Modernity: The Intrinsic Jewish Component of Modern Architecture
  • Ron Fuchs, Haifa: Rudolf Wittkower’s “Architectural Principles”: German Humanism in Exile

12:30 – 13:15: Final discussion
Chair: Andreas Brämer, Hamburg

13:15 – 13:30: Closing remarks