The Population History of German Jewry: 1815-1939

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Center for Jewish History (map)
15 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011
LBI/CJH/Partner Members, Students, Seniors: $5
General: $10

The late Steven Mark Lowenstein was a brilliant social historian who, after retiring from his academic position at the University of Judaism, labored until his final days to complete a monumental demographic history of German Jewry. Lowenstein took the research of Hebrew University demographer Professor Usiel Oscar Schmelz and brought it to life with insights into the daily experiences of German-speaking Jews. David N. Myers (UCLA), who co-edited the book for its posthumous publication, will join Marsha Rozenblit (Maryland), David Ellenson (HUC), and Lowenstein’s daughter, Dr. Ruth Lowenstein Glasser, for a celebration of Lowenstein’s legacy and his final opus.

If you would like to attend this program virtually, please select the “Virtual Admission” option when reserving tickets on Eventbrite.


“The pioneering research of Usiel Schmelz and Steven Lowenstein provides a new dimension for German-Jewish History. Instead of relying on a few personal accounts and anecdotal evidence, this book constitutes a tool to decipher the complete picture of the German-Jewish community. It is an indispensable source for everyone interested in the modern Jewish experience.”

— Michael Brenner, President of the International Leo Baeck Institute for the Research of German-Jewish History and Culture

“Steven Lowenstein’s landmark volume presents the history of German Jewry from the early 19th century into the Nazi era through the prism of shifting population patterns. Replete with an incomparable array of data, the book’s meticulous narrative also serves as a memorial to a diverse Jewish community whose history reflected the triumphs and tragedies of the modern Jewish experience.”

— Jack Wertheimer, The Jewish Theological Seminary

“Steven Lowenstein’s demographic history of Jews in Germany is a state-of-the-art study that will certainly become a classic. He has absorbed and presented in highly readable prose the chronological, regional, and topical demographic interpretations of the years 1815-1939 while also engaging in historiographical debates. This new and all-embracing picture of German Jewry offers readers careful analyses of such topics as urbanization, marriage and intermarriage, births and deaths, in and out migration and internal migration, and addresses age, region, and gender while also comparing to non-Jewish populations in Germany. The book is breathtaking in its research and scope and a must for every scholar of German-Jewish history.”

— Marion Kaplan, Skirball Professor Emerita of Modern Jewish History

“ “Steven Lowenstein has published the definitive demographic history of German Jewry.  This is a monumental curated archive, actually a twice posthumous book. Lowenstein’s initial statistics were compiled by the Israeli demographer Oscar Schmelz, and Lowenstein himself died before finishing this tome.  Family historians, genealogy buffs and population historians will rely on Lowenstein’s volume and appreciate its comparative reach and meticulous detail.” .”

— Deborah Hertz, Wouk Chair in Modern Jewish Studies, Department of History, University of California at San Diego


Apr 23 2023


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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The Leo Beck Institute


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