In the course of the late 19th and early 20th century, more than 30 Jewish horticultural and agricultural training centers and schools (Hachshara) were established in Germany to train Jews from Germany and other European countries, particularly Eastern Europe. While these institutions aimed to prepare their graduates to emigrate from Germany, they also reflected the lure of the students toward the local land and landscape, a topic which was relative neglected in the emerging research field of ‘everyday history’ (Alltagsgeschichte) of Jewish life in Germany. Upon arriving in Palestine, graduates of these centers were involved in establishing new settlements, led agricultural and horticultural activities, pioneered agricultural education, and practiced landscape architecture. Nevertheless, in contrast to the rich documentation of the role of the “Yekkes” in the country’s development, there is surprisingly little research on this group’s contribution to the emergence of the local landscape.
Our research explores the scopes, goals, and contribution of these German educational institutions. It documents the history of the schools and training centers, their curricula, and the actual work and life of their students. In parallel we investigate the impact of these graduates, after their arrival in Palestine, on the local landscape. We explore their landscape perceptions, their settlement projects (mainly in the Kibbutzim but not exclusively), and their contributions to the fields of agriculture, horticulture, and landscape architecture.
On September 26, 2016 we will hold a workshop in Jerusalem, organized together with the Leo Baeck Institute in Jerusalem, in order to bring together German and Israeli researchers to discuss these issues and exchange knowledge and ideas. We invite scholars of all disciplines, including but not limited to architecture, horticulture, agriculture, the humanities, and the social sciences, to send proposals for papers addressing the research topics and related issues.
Interested scholars are invited to send an abstract of 300 words and a short bio of 100 words to Sharon Gordon firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage scholars to send full papers or work in progress prior to the workshop, though such exchange will not be obligatory.
Due date is 30/4/2016.
Reimbursement of travel and lodging expenses cannot be provided.