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.