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CFP: Jewish Architecture (Braunschweig, 8-10 Apr 13)

8 September 2013

Jewish sacred and profane buildings have been part of the architecture and cityscapes since antiquity; the earliest findings of Jewish settlements and buildings in northern Europe date back to medieval times. During the course of the centuries, a broad range of structures that are essential for Jewish congregational life were constructed:

synagogues, mikva’ot, cemeteries, Taharah houses, kosher slaughterhouses, bakeries, etc. The turn from the 19th to the 20th centuries marks the biggest growth of Jewish life in Europe that underwent a fundamental break during the Nazi era. The current generation, like its successors, too, is confronted with the appropriate treatment of the remains, that former Jewish communities inherited.

Besides the numerous written and visual sources, the preserved former Jewish buildings themselves call for response to their substance.

Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture in Europe organizes the interdisciplinary and international conference Jewish Architecture – New Sources and Approaches in order to discuss the effective and upcoming handling of “Jewish architecture” as part of the Jewish visual heritage. The conference will take place at the TU Braunschweig (Germany). On basis of primary sources and case studies, the tangible evidences of Jewish architecture in Germany and Europe will be revealed, analyzed, and put into contrast with the generic European architecture.

Focus will be given to the tangible evidence itself and the inherent scope of its possible interpretations. Current activities reveal the utmost urgency of this discussion, in which scholars of various scientific disciplines will present the state of their research as well as new working techniques and methods. Furthermore, trendsetting perspectives for aims and tasks in future research will be developed.

The conference will emphasize the documentation and preservation of Jewish monuments and sights as well as their integration and transformation into museums.

The following panels are scheduled:

Panel 1: Architecture as primary source Panel 2: Architect and Architectural Design as Source Panel 3: Archival Sources on Jewish Architecture Panel 4: Jewish Architecture in Literature Panel 5: Jewish Architecture and the Arts Panel 6: Jewish Architecture as Part of a Museum Panel 7: Jewish Architecture – Monument and Memorial

The conference’s official language will be English. The lectures shall not exceed 20 minutes. The conference will only take place if the necessary funds are granted. In this case, we will reimburse parts of travel expenses for lecturers.

Please send a short abstract (max. 1 page) with additional CV until Monday, October 21, 2013, to


Bet Tfila – Forschungsstelle für jüdische Architektur in Europa Pockelsstr. 4, 38106 Braunschweig

+49 531 391 2525

+49 531 391 2530

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