Eshkolot's Festival of Jewish Texts & Ideas

The Eshkolot Festival has been made possible with the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group and with the kind assistance of the Jewish Agency for Israel — Germany

Jerusalem-am-Rhein: Jews and Christians in Medieval Germany
Eshkolot's Festival of Jewish Texts and Ideas

Mainz, Worms, Speyer, July 1-5, 2018

Three ancient cities on the Rhine, three Royal Cathedrals (Kaiserdome), three most important Jewish communities of Medieval Ashkenaz (SHUM – Shpeyra, Vermiza, Magentza), where great Rabbis built the cathedrals of Torah and the palaces of mystical visions; blood of martyrs and avenging angels, mossy tombstones and gilded manuscripts, minnesingers and Nibelungs, Chagall in churches and cathedral-like synagogues – historical sites of turbulent interaction between Jews and Christians will become the venues of Eshkolot’s next Festival of Jewish Texts and Ideas.

The aim of the Festival is to study classical medieval books in their original urban context with live commentary from university scholars, as well as to re-interpret the city text of Mainz, Worms and Speyer through particular codes of medieval Jewish literature.

The festival program includes lectures, reading workshops, thematic field trips and cultural events.

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM (check for updates)


Rhineland Synagogues — from medieval monuments to contemporary avant-garde

Manuel Herz, architect, professor at ETH Studio (Basel)

Song of the One: synagogue poetry of medieval Ashkenaz

Peter Sh. Lehnardt, scholar of literature (University of Ben-Gurion, Israel)


«A Priest and a Rabbi Met on the Road»: Jewish-Christian Polemics in Medieval Germany

Vladislav Slepoy, scholar of religion (TU Berlin)

“Rheingold” of Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts – art and religion in Mahzor Worms and Mahzor Leipzig

Katrin Kogman-Appel, professor of art history at the University of Munster

Heavenly Palaces and Street Piety – mystical teachings of Hasidei Ashkenaz

Naama Ben-Shachar, scholar of religion (University of Ben-Gurion, Israel)


Lilies of Worms: texts and images of medieval Jewish tombstones

Boris Haimovich, art historian (Hebrew University in Jerusalem)


The Soundscape of Pre-Modern Ashkenaz

Concert and workshop by Avery Gosfield and Ensemble Lucidarium

PRELIMINARY ITINERARY (check for updates)

1 July (Sun) Arrival and registration in Frankfurt, program in Mainz
2 July (Mon) Program in Mainz
3 July (Tue) Program in Worms
4 July (Wed) Program in Speyer
5 July (Thu) Conclusion and departure from Frankfurt

(Accommodation in Frankfurt with day trips to Mainz, Worms and Speyer)


Genesis Philanthropy Group, which supports Eshkolot Project, covers accommodation, meals and study program. The participation fee is 10,000 RUR (for Russian residents) or $200 (for non-Russian residents).

The Festival program starts in Frankfurt in the early afternoon July 1 and concludes in Frankfurt in the late afternoon July 5 (the accommodation is covered from July 1 till July 5, 2018). Travel and visa expenses to and from Frankfurt are not covered by the organizers.

To participate in the Festival you have to fill the application form by March 1, 2018. The organizing committee will consider the applications on a competitive basis and inform those accepted for participation no later than March 10, 2018.

Applications are accepted regardless of nationality, ethnicity or religious identity.

The principal languages of instruction at the festival are English and Russian (without translation).


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