Jerusalem am Rhein

Book lovers' journey to the land of Ashkenaz

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)

Frozen Middle Ages: Imperial Cathedrals of Worms and Speyer

Dilshat Harman, art historian (Moscow)


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 Speyer

3 July (Tue) Program in Worms

4 July (Wed) Program in Mainz

5 July (Thu) Conclusion and departure from Frankfurt

(Accommodation in Speyer)

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