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History

Fred Rosenbaum

Founded in 1974 with historian Fred Rosenbaum as its first director, Lehrhaus took its name (meaning “house of learning”) and inspiration from a school for Jewish studies founded by philosopher Franz Rosenzweig in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1920. Attracting scholars such as Martin Buber, S.Y. Agnon, A.J. Heschel, Gershom Scholem, and Erich Fromm, the original Lehrhaus — until its closure by the Nazis — was the focal point of a Jewish intellectual revival between the wars. Dialogue between the student and teacher was the primary method of learning, which, according to Rosenzweig and Buber, “could restore something genuinely Jewish to the Western intellectual.”