Julia Carls is a curator of the forthcoming, new permanent exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Previously, she worked as a research assistant at the chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Erfurt. She holds an M.A. in Religious Studies as well as a B.A. in Religious Studies and Communication Studies and received scholarships by the German National Academic Foundation and other institutions. Amongst her research interest are German-Jewish history, Jewish Orthodoxy, Zionism, halakha, interfaith dialogue, as well as Jewish visual and material culture.
Denkwelten, Handlungsräume und Grenzgänge der deutschen Orthodoxie in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts
Ms Carls’ PhD-project investigates the perception, self-perception, and scope of action of Orthodox German rabbis in the first half of the 20th century. Using a wide base of sources, general discourses as well as their reception in local debates are analysed. In contrast to usual research practice, this comprehensive presentation of German Orthodoxy also takes a look at deviations from the great lines and happenings in smaller communities. In this vein, the struggle for unity amongst German Jewry can be traced at the same time. In addition, the investigation of central concepts used in the discourse sheds light on Orthodox semantics of the time. Furthermore, Orthodox interpretations of general historical events are scrutinised.
A comprehensive picture of German Orthodoxy emerges. Common thought structures, assumptions, cooperation with, and delimitations from the Jewish as well as non-Jewish environment are being illuminated. These negotiation processes took place against the background of competing intellectual positions (for example, national Jewish or Zionist) and sometimes led to the establishment of international discourses and efforts to establish institutional co-operation. Hence, the analysis is not fully constrained by the borders of the German national state.