The Center


The Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center was established in 1990 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is funded by the Minerva Foundation (read more about the Center's history). Named after the German-Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929), whose life and work are considered to be emblematic of the German-Jewish cultural legacy, the Center seeks to honor the achievements of German and German-speaking Jewry from the Middle Ages through and after the Shoah.

The Center aims to promote the study of German and German-speaking Jewry in diverse disciplines, ranging from history to philosophy and to literature and arts. Over the last years the Center has been especially focusing on the questions of spatiality, cultural property, transfer of knowledge and the continuity of German culture in Palestine and Israel.

The core of the Center's activity lies in its fellowship program. The Rosenzweig Fellowship allows young scholars from all over the world, doctoral and post-doctoral students, to pursue their research in a lively academic community. In the last 25 years the Center has hosted scholars from Israel, Europe and the United States, and today its alumni constitute the elite of their field. During their stay at the Center, fellows enjoy optimal work conditions and benefit from the unique research opportunities offered by the city of Jerusalem, with its libraries, archives and research institutes. In addition, the Center coordinates the Hebrew University's participation in the network Principles of Cultural Dynamics.

The Rosenzweig Fellowship program is also accompanied by a weekly colloquium, in which fellows and other young scholars are given an opportunity to present and discuss their work, as well as by a year-round agenda of lectures, workshops, international conferences and other activities (see our events), which bring together world-renowned experts and young scholars from the field of German-Jewish studies.
The center also initiates and carries various research projects, in which the fellows are encouraged to take part. These projects are based on close cooperation with other prominent research institutes, in Israel and abroad, and are funded by competitive grants; they often lead to publications, conferences or exhibitions.

Many of the Center's research products are published in its peer-reviewed bilingual journal Naharaim or within the book series Makom (Wilhelm Fink, Paderborn). The Center also supports the publications of other monographs and translations, in Hebrew, German and English.
The founding director of the Center was Prof. Stéphane Mosès (1990-1993), who was followed by Prof. Paul Mendes-Flohr (1993-1994; 1999-2006), Prof. Gabriel Motzkin (1996-1999; 2006-2007), Prof. Steven Aschheim (2007-2010), and Prof. Yfaat Weiss (2010-2017). Since October 2017 the Center is directed by Prof. Benjamin Pollock.



Academic Board

The current members of the Academic Board (Beirat) of the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center are:

Chairman: Prof. Dr. Michael Brenner (University of Munich / American University, Washington DC)

Prof. Dr. Dan Diner (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Prof. Dr. Joseph Mali (Tel Aviv University)

Prof. Dr. Yoav Rinon (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Dr. Thomas Sparr (Suhkramp Verlag)

Prof. Dr. Christian Wiese (Goethe University, Frankfurt)


The Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Center holds a research library with a focus on German-Jewish history, literature and thought. Situated within the Center, the library contains about 3,500 volumes covering a wide area of topics – from classics to contemporaries, from original literature to state of the art scholarship – in German, English and Hebrew.

The library also contains four special collections: The “Baruch Kurzweil memorial collection”, including around 130 books belonging to the famous historian and critique of Hebrew literature Baruch Kurzweil (1907-1972); The “Jenny Aloni memorial collection”, including around 250 books belonging to the German-Jewish writer Jenny Aloni (1917-1993); the “Yehuda Elkana memorial collection”, including around 100 books belonging to the historian and philosopher of science Prof. Yehuda Elkana (1934-2012); and a historical collection of books published in German-speaking countries from the 19th century through 1939.

Books can be perused at the Center or borrowed by special permission. As a rule, the library is open during the Center's office hours. At the moment, access to the library catalogue is possible only from the library's computer. Questions regarding the catalogue and loans can be addressed directly to the office; we also warmly welcome suggestions to purchase new publications from the field.