On 21 October 2010 Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Charlotte Knobloch, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, will present the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Programme (ELES)’s Benno Jacob Scholarship. This scholarship is aimed at student rabbis and cantors from non-EU countries.
With the Benno Jacob Scholarship and the Visiting Scholar Programme, the ELES seeks to attract future multipliers and leaders of Jewish communities worldwide to study in Germany. The scholarship is funded by the Federal Foreign Office and made possible through the support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
So as to promote and encourage academic rabbi and cantor studies, the ELES will also invite leaders and multipliers from abroad to come to Germany. The goal of this invitation is to further establish internationally the training of rabbis and cantors in Germany.
Since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 Germany has been home to Europe’s fastest-growing Jewish community, and is once again starting to become an intellectual and religious centre of Jewish life. In Germany there are study courses for all Jewish denominations. Academically formulated and accredited Master courses for studies to become a rabbi or cantor are held at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (College of Jewish Studies) in Heidelberg and at the University of Potsdam’s Abraham Geiger Kolleg.
Following his training at Breslau University’s Jewish Theological Seminary, Benno Jacob (1862-1945) served as a rabbi in Göttingen and Dortmund. After spending forty years as a rabbi in Germany he devoted his life to exegesis (the critical explanation of religious texts), becoming one of the major Jewish Bible commentators. In 1939 Benno Jacob fled to Britain to escape National Socialist persecution.