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Gleichberechtigung und Gleichwertigkeit?

Jüdische Wohlfahrt in der Weimarer Republik zwischen privaten Initiativen und öffentlichem Engagement am Beispiel der Berliner Gemeinde


Simona Lavaud

Wohltätigkeit, Wohlfahrt und Fürsorge sind Begriffe, die im Judentum eine bedeutende und zentrale Rolle spiel(t)en, da sie das umschreiben, was sich als konstitutiv für die jüdische Gemeinschaft erwies: eine traditionell gewachsene Unterstützungspflicht von Menschen für Menschen – in jeder Lebenssituation – von der Geburt bis zum Tod. Diese Spannweite jüdischer Wohltätigkeit ist der Untersuchungsgegenstand dieses Buches. Es wird gezeigt, wie sich das wohltätige Arbeiten in den jüdischen Gemeinden, speziell in der Berliner Gemeinde, in den 1920er und beginnenden 1930er Jahren entwickelte, als, basierend auf der Weimarer Reichsverfassung und diversen Wohlfahrtsgesetzen, Begriffe wie Gleichberechtigung und Gleichwertigkeit für die deutschen Juden eine neue Signifikanz bekamen.
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Charity, welfare, social care are concepts which play(ed) an important and central role in Judaism because they describe what was fundamental for the Jewish community: a traditionally grown duty of mutual support for the people by the people – in every stage of life – from birth till death. During the Weimar Republic, charity work was placed on a legal footing so that terms like equality and equal rights acquired new significance. The content of this book includes the nineteen-twenties and the beginning of the nineteen-thirties, when, based on the Weimar Constitution (Weimarer Reichsverfassung) and various welfare laws, an opportunity for the Jewish communities arose to develop their welfare through and parallel to the legally protected foundations. Jewish welfare was at this moment at the height of its modernization and besides the viable and financial public structures which were based on a legal foundation, there existed furthermore a private charity, for instance in the form of associations. The focus of the present study is on the question, why, to what extent and in which form private welfare had a raison d’être besides the public welfare. For that purpose, hitherto undiscovered sources have been analyzed. The result was that first of all due to the economic crisis of the twenties, German Jews felt obligated to invest in welfare. Special needs such as a Shabbat free employment or kosher food could only be covered by Jewish organizations, while inter-denominational cooperation took place in fields like tuberculosis care. At the same...

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