When we talk of Heidelberg as town of Science, you are not to forget the Jewish University, the Academy of Jewish Studies. On 1979 founded in Heidelberg, she now could combine her up to now four separate locations into one representative new building. With this a further leading step could be achieved to encourage Jewish life in Germany.
The newly raised building complex in the center of Heidelberg’s old city part is set out for 250 students. It connects in its architecture the past, the present time and the future. It is a place of cultural inheritance and a world open institution of the 21st century. It became the European Competence Center with an unique offer of studying possibilities.
The Academy under support of the „Zentralrat“, the highest board of the Jews i9n Germany, is recognized by the Government of Baden-Wuerttemberg. She is education center as well for cultural scientifically adjusted studies as for scripture teachers, cantors and rabbis. Her independence guarantees the course of Jewish Studies unique in Germany. Together with the University of Heidelberg she has the right of graduation and grants state exams as teachers of secondary schools. In 2009 one hundred and fifty students from 14 countries were educated and taken care of in this Academy.
In eight faculties there are lectures for History of the Jewish People, Jewish Art, the Bible and jewish interpretation of it, Talmud, Codices and rabbiic, hebraeical and Jewish literature, Jewish Art, Literature, Philosophy, History of Spirit and Educational Religion. In addition there is the Ignaz-Bubis Faculty for History, Religion and culture of the European Jews. Completed by lectures of Lingual Science it covers the whole spectrum of Jewish Studies. The Academy co-operates very intensively with the Heidelberg University and as a confession free Academy is self understood open as well to not Jewish students.
The last news is, that the Heidelberg University and the Heidelberg Jewish University will install the “Ben Gurion Guest Chair for Israel and Near Eastern Studies”. This Guest Chair for Israel and Near Eastern studies was donated by the Country Administration of Baden-Wuerttemberg and is the only one in the German speaking countries. For the academical year 2009/2010 the historic professor Mrs. Rakefet Zalashik from the New York University was appointed.