Shared History Project Exhibition


“Shared History Project” comes to UC Berkeley’s Magnes Collection

August 31, 2022

BERKELEY — Leo Baeck Institute’s traveling panel exhibition, Shared History Project: 1700 Years of Jewish Life in German-Speaking Lands, will be on display at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life during the month of September with a reception on Monday, September 19th from 5-7 pm.

Marking the 1700th anniversary of the earliest document that mentions a Jewish community north of the Alps, the Shared History Project uses high-resolution reproductions of 58 artifacts from over 50 different archives and museums to explore the history and multiple aspects of Jewish life on German-speaking lands over the centuries.

“This exhibition underlines the complexity of Jewish life and how deeply it is interwoven in the history of German-speaking lands. Creating this opportunity for exchange and education is a powerful tool when it comes to fighting antisemitism and distortion of history. We are honored and grateful to have the prestigious Magnes Collection as a partner in this endeavor!” states the German Consulate General San Francisco, supporters of the Shared History Project.

From Constantine’s edict to Moses Mendelssohn’s glasses to a pendant found in the ruins of the Sobibór death camp to the Jewish Museum Berlin, objects are presented and discussed in historical essays and personal stories written by more than 60 scholars, archivists, and museum experts. 

“Telling the story of German Jewry through the prism of 58 artifacts, The Leo Baeck Institute’s traveling display, 1700 Years of Jewish Life in German-Speaking Lands provides a remarkably vivid and absorbing overview of the history of Central Europe’s German Jews,” states Magnes and Center for Jewish Studies Faculty Director, John Efron. “It ably conveys the antiquity, the perseverance, the successes, and ultimately, the tragedy of these complex and highly creative Jewish communities.”

Monday, September 19th, The Magnes, UC Berkeley’s Center for Jewish Studies, the German Consulate General San Francisco, and the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest will host a reception and program featuring Koret Professor of Jewish History at UC Berkeley, John Efron, German Consul General Oliver Schramm, and Israeli Consul General Marco Sermoneta.

The Magnes Collection is located at 2121 Allston Way in Berkeley, CA and the galleries will be open to the public this fall on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11 am to 4 pm. Shared History Project will be on display from September 6 to September 29, 2022. Admission is free.

For more information, please visit

Select high-resolution images from Shared History Project: 1700 Years of Jewish Life in German-speaking Lands are available for editorial use by the media, with captions and photo sources.

Images from the Shared History Project

About The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, UC Berkeley

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life was established in 2010 following the transfer of the Judah L. Magnes Museum to the University of California, Berkeley. Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music and historical documents about the Jews in the global diaspora and the American West. As one of the world’s preeminent Jewish collections in a university setting, it provides highly innovative and accessible resources to both researchers and the general public.  

Press Contact:
Laura Bratt, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

About Berkeley’s Center for Jewish Studies

The Center for Jewish Studies is a diverse and interdisciplinary University of California, Berkeley unit whose mission is to gather faculty, students, and visiting academics for research and debate across the wide scholarly landscape of Jewish Studies. The Center is committed to educating students and the larger community about the richness, depth, and diversity of Jewish history and culture.

Press Contact:
Jennifer Lipscomb, UC Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies

About The Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin

The Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin is a research library and archive focused on the history of German-speaking Jews.

Its extensive library, archival, and art collections comprise one of the most significant repositories of primary source material and scholarship on the centuries of Jewish life in Central Europe before the Holocaust. LBI is committed to preserving and expanding access to this rich body of material, and it has digitized millions of pages of documents, books, and artworks from its collections—from rare Renaissance-era books to the personal correspondence of luminaries and ordinary people alike. LBI also promotes the study and understanding of German-Jewish history through its public programs, exhibitions, and support for scholars.

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