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The subject of Jewish Art deals with the monuments of Judaism, its visual and material culture from antiquity to the present day and includes artifacts from ancient synagogue buildings to contemporary Israeli film. Teaching and research are oriented towards cultural history, work closely with other sub-disciplines and use the diversity of methods in the humanities to culturally locate artifacts in their specific environment. The focus of teaching and research is on the understanding of Jewish art in the context of the prohibition of images, the relationship between image and text in its specifically Jewish nature, the genesis of independent Jewish sacred architecture and culture and art as a medium of self-assertion in the non-Jewish majority societies of the diaspora.
The geographical proximity of the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien to the oldest and most important communities of Speyer-Worms-Mainz (ShUM) places a focus on research into medieval Jewish sacred architecture, ritual art and customs.

Current courses can be found in the course catalog. Courses from previous semesters are listed in the archive directory.
In addition to the courses on offer, workshops and special events are regularly offered in cooperation with other chairs at the university, the University of Heidelberg and guest lecturers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel, as well as excursions.

Thanks to financial support from the Friends of the University, the University of Jewish Studies has been involved in the HeidICON project since 2008, which brings together several Heidelberg image archives. The affiliated institutes make their image material available there for research and teaching within the university.

Compared to other disciplines in Jewish Studies, Jewish Art is a young field of research that was established with the founding of the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien and taught for the first time in Europe by the then chair holder, Prof. Hannelore Künzl.

  • Prof. Dr. Hannelore Künzl, 1979-2000
  • Prof. Dr. Avinoam Shalem, 2001-2002, since 2002 Professor of Islamic Art at the Institute for Art History in Munich
  • Dr. Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, 2001-2004, Chief Curator, Jewish Museum Vienna
  • Prof. Dr. Annette Weber, 2004-2022, Chair of Jewish Art