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Gershom Scholem Collection

Identifier: AR 1791

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photocopies of some personal correspondence, a larger number of photocopies of professional correspondence relating to publication efforts in the late 1960s and 1970s, as well as some short manuscripts and a manuscript draft of a speech. The speech is entitled Walter Benjamin -- Philosph und Kritiker an der Wende unserer Zeit. The manuscripts, all typed with handwritten corrections, are the following:

  1. 1) Jüdische Mystik und Kabala
  2. 2) Messianische Bewegungen im Judentum nach der Vertreibung aus Spanien
  3. 3) Die Epoche der Lurianischen und der späteren Kabbala


  • 1939-1986
  • 1898-1977


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, and Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Note on the materials

The correspondence, all of which is photocopied, if often poorly legible.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011


Biographical Note

Born as Gerhard Scholem to a secular Jewish family in Berlin in 1897, Scholem was a close associate of Walter Benjamin and through his scholarly efforts and publications arguably the most important figure in spreading awareness of Jewish mysticism and the Kabbala to audiences beyond Orthodox Jewish circles. In 1923, he emigrated to Palestine, whereupon he changed his name to Gershon Scholem. In Palestine and later Israel he was a librarian and professor at Hebrew University, but remained involved in German-Jewish discourse, notably in his debates with Hannah Arendt over the Eichmann trial and over the reception of Benjamin's works. Scholem died in 1982.


3 Folders


This collection contains 3 short manuscripts on Jewish mysticism and history, a manuscript draft of speech on Walter Benjamin, as well as photocopies of some personal and professional correspondence.

Other Finding Aid

An initial inventory in German is available in folder 1.

Location of Originals

The location of the originals documents amassed in folder 3, Professional correspondence, is unknown.

Related Material

See also the Leo Strauss-Gershom Scholem correspondence, Leo Strauss. Papers , [Box 3, Folder 11], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

See also the Hanna Arendt-Gershom Scholem correspondence, Hannah Arendt papers , 1898-1977, MSS11056 Library of Congress Manuscript Division .

Separated Material

Clippings, some copyrighted photographs, and some photocopied correspondence (where the originals are in the custody of other repositories) have been removed to the Gershom Sholem Clippings Collection , LBI AR 1791 C .

Some Photographs have been removed to the LBI Photograph Collection.


The manuscript Walter Benjamin -- Philosoph und Kritiker an der Wende unserer Zeit , delivered as the Leo Baeck Memorial Lecture in 1964, was published in Neue Rundschau volume 76 issue 1 , 1965 .
The manuscript Jüdische Mystik und Kabala was published in the Algemeine entziklopedie: Yidn ( Paris, Dubnov-fond: 1939 ).
  • Neue Rundschau volume 76 issue 1 , 1965
  • Algemeine entziklopedie: Yidn ( Paris, Dubnov-fond: 1939 )
Gershom Scholem Collection, 1939-1986   AR 1791
Processed by LBI Staff and Timothy Ryan Mendenhall
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • November 29, 2011 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States