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German minister of education and research at opening of new Center for German Studies at Hebrew University
18 March 2008 — 18 March 2008
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Opening the new Center for German Studies today at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, German Minister of Education and Research Dr. Annette Schavan cited the key role that the center will play in furthering the scientific and cultural ties between Israel and Germany.
These ties are “of great importance” not only in scientific terms, she said, but also for “the building of spiritual and cultural understanding between the two countries.”
Noting that the inauguration of the new German Studies Center was occurring in the same week as the historic joint meeting of the governments of Germany and Israel in Jerusalem, Dr Schavan pointed out that the scientific ties between the two countries preceded the formal political ties.
Also speaking at the center’s inauguration, Hebrew University President Prof. Menachem Magidor recalled the key role played by the university’s German Jewish founding fathers and early professors and the more recent development of German-funded research centers and research projects at the Hebrew University. Some 350 joint projects exist between German and Hebrew University researchers, he said, adding that the new center provides “another very important connection” between the two countries.
The Hebrew University won a tender among Israeli universities to host the new Center for German Studies following a call by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in 2006. The new graduate research and teaching institution functions under the faculties of humanities, law and social sciences and is affiliated with the Hebrew University's European Forum.
While most German research at the University has in the past focused on German history, the Holocaust and the cultural legacy of German Jewry, Director of the Hebrew University's European Forum Prof. Bianca Kühnel says this new center will develop research on contemporary processes within German society, the role of Germany in the EU and in European integration, the role of Germany in global economic, political, scientific and technological transformations, as well as Germany's place in the contemporary cultural and artistic scene.
Offering an instructional, interdisciplinary program at both M.A. and doctoral levels, this will be the only center for graduate studies of Germany in Israel. The center will host prominent writers, statesmen, artists and curators, creating opportunities for them to address the Israeli public through a range of symposia, conferences, workshops and performances.