||Volume fifteen of this classic annual work Jewish history and lkiterature. The full title is Jahrbuch für jüdische Geschichte und Literatur. Herausgeben von Verbande der Vereind für jüdische Geschichte und Literatur in Deutschland – Fünfzehenter Band.(Yearbook for Jewish history and literature. Yearbook for Jewish history and literature. Published by the Society for Jewish history and literature in Germany) given out buy S. Bernfeld, Ulrich Frank, M. Phillopson, S. Schechter, L. Steinhaus, and Dr. Stier. Tehre is a table of contents listing the contents of the books eight chapters, among them (Rückblick auf das Jahr 5671) by Dr. Martin Phillippson; Literarische Jahresrevue by Dr. Somon Bernfeld; Die Ehre un Talmud by Dr. Stier, and concluding with number eight, Mitteilungen aus dem Verband der verband der vereine für jüdische Geschicte und Literatur Lieratur für jüdische Geschicte und Literatur (Reports from the federation connected on related issues effecting Jewish literatures).
The contributors were all prominent liberal Jews. For example, Siegfried Bernfeld, (1892–1953) was a psychoanalyst and educator. Born in Lvov, he studied at the universities of Freiburg and Vienna. A pupil of Sigmund Freud, Bernfeld was also influenced by Gustav Wyneken, the German educator and philosopher. He practiced and taught psychoanalysis in Vienna and Berlin and later in Menton, France. Leaving France in 1936, he settled in San Francisco, California. Bernfeld was active in Austrian and German youth movements, applying in practice the conclusions he drew from his psychoanalytic studies. During World War I, he organized the Zionist youth movement in Austria, and published the Zionist youth periodical Jerubaal in Vienna (1918–19). Among his other works of Jewish interest are Das juedische Volk und seine Jugend (1920). He was a founder of the Hebrew Paedagogium at Vienna and the Jewish children's home at Baumgarten. Bernfeld wrote extensively on a variety of topics. His examination of infant psychology and of Freud's childhood, and also his attempts at educational reform, are noteworthy.
Dr. Solomon Schechter, (Shneur Zalman; 1847–1915) was a rabbinic scholar and president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Schechter was born in Focsani, Rumania. His father, a Habad Hasid, was a ritual slaughterer (Ger. Schaechter). In his teens he studied with the rabbinic author Joseph Saul Nathanson in Lemberg. From about 1875 to 1879 he attended the Vienna bet ha-midrash. He acquired a lifelong devotion to scientific study of the tradition and developed the central notion of the community of Israel as decisive for Jewish living and thinking. He was to call it "Catholic Israel." Schechter is considered the chief architect of Conservative Judaism in the U.S. In his view, this version of Jewish religious life and thought was organically related to the Historical School, founded by Zunz, Frankel, and Graetz. Schechter defined the theological position of the school: It is not the mere revealed Bible that is of first importance to the Jew, but the Bible as it repeats itself in history, in other words, as it is interpreted by Tradition... Since then the interpretation of Scripture or the Secondary Meaning is mainly a product of changing historical influences, it follows that the centre of authority is actually removed from the Bible and placed in some living body, which, by reason of its being in touch with the ideal aspirations and the religious needs of the age, is best able to determine the nature of the Secondary Meaning. This living body, however, is not represented by any section of the nation, or any corporate priesthood, or Rabbihood, but by the collective conscience of Catholic Israel, as embodied in the Universal Synagogue (Studies in Judaism, Series One, JPS, 1896, xvii–xviii). Though a staunch traditionalist, Schechter admitted the possibility of change. However, he felt that changes should not be introduced arbitrarily or deliberately. Rather, "the norm as well as the sanction of Judaism is the practice actually in vogue. Its consecration is the consecration of general use - or, in other words, of Catholic Israel" (ibid., xix). Schechter insisted (ibid., 180ff.) Judaism must be understood as regulating not only our actions but also our thoughts: "It is true that every great religion is a 'concentration of many ideas and ideals' which make this religion able to adapt itself to various modes of thinking and living. But there must always be a point round which all these ideas concentrate themselves. This center is Dogma."
Ludwig Geiger (1848–1919) was a German literary historian; a fervent adherent of assimilation. Son of Abraham Geiger, he studied at his father's Hochschule in Berlin and concluded his academic studies with a dissertation, presented to Leopold yon Ranke, on the attitude of Greek and Roman authors to Judaism and Jews. In 1880 he was appointed professor of German literature and cultural history at Berlin University. Geiger was a versatile scholar, editor, and translator. His major contributions were to Renaissance, Humanism, and Reformation studies, German-Jewish history, and research on Goethe. Even when treating the first and last subjects he remained particularly conscious of the Jewish aspect. Appreciation of Geiger's work on the Rennaissance led the Swiss historian, Jacob Burckhardt - a notorious anti-Semite - to appoint him editor of all future editions of his Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien ("Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy"). Geiger's major work in this subject was Renaissance und Humanismus in Italien und Deutschland (1882). He published the letters of Johann Reuchlin (1875, 1962) and the latter's biography: Johann Reuchlin, sein Leben und seine Werke (1871). Founder and editor of Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland (1887–92), he also wrote Geschichte der Juden in Berlin (2 vols., 1871), Die deutsche Literatur und die Juden (1910), and numerous articles on German Jewish history. The Goethe Jahrbuch was founded by him in 1880; he continued to edit it until 1913, when he had to leave in the aftermath of an acrimonious dispute. His major works on Goethe were Goethe und die Seinen (1908) and Goethe, sein Leben und Schaffen (1910); he also wrote on Goethe's relationship to Jews and Judaism. Geiger edited his father's Nachgelassene Schriften (5 vols., 1875–78) and other works; he also wrote a biography of his father, Abraham Geiger, Leben und Lebenswerk (with others, 1910). Geiger was a vigorous exponent of liberalism and Reform Judaism and an opponent of political Zionism. In 1911, in his birthday letter to the kaiser, he courageously protested against the social discrimination to which German Jews were subjected. From 1909 he edited the leading Jewish newspaper, Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums. His unpublished works include a projected edition of the correspondence of Leopold Zunz.