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Prof. Matthias B. Lehmann

Room: 313, Martin-Buber-Institut für Judaistik, Kerpener Straße 4


Consultation by appointment



Matthias B. Lehmann is a German-American scholar of modern Jewish history. His main interests are nineteenth century Jewish history, international Jewish philanthropy, and Sephardic cultural history. After studying in Freiburg, Jerusalem, Madrid, and Berlin, he received his Ph.D. at Freie Universität Berlin in 2002. Lehmann taught Jewish Studies and History at Indiana University, Bloomington (2002-2012) and as Teller Family Chair in Jewish History at the University of California, Irvine (2012-2023). Since 2023, he is professor of modern Jewish history and director of the Martin Buber Institute for Jewish Studies at the University of Cologne. Lehmann is an elected member of the American Academy of Jewish Research and editor of the journal Jewish Social Studies.





The Baron: Maurice de Hirsch and the Jewish Nineteenth Century (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2022).

— Editor, with Jessica Marglin, Jews and the Mediterranean (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020).


— with John Efron und Steven Weitzman, The Jews: A History (New York and London: Routledge, third edition, 2019)

Emissaries from the Holy Land: The Sephardic Diaspora and the Practice of Pan-Judaism in the Eighteenth Century (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014).

Ladino Rabbinic Literature and Ottoman Sephardic Culture (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005).


Articles (selection)


— “Rethinking Sephardic Secularism: Social Conflict and Anticlericalism in El Correo de Viena,” El Prezente: Journal for Sephardic Studies 14-15 (2020-21), 90-103.

— “Baron Hirsch, the Jewish Colonization Association, and the Future of the Jews,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 27:1 (2020), 73-102.

— “‘A New Book in Jewish Affairs Begins’: Maurice de Hirsch and the Waning Power of Jewish Philanthropy at the Fin-de-Siècle,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 17:4 (2018), 472-486.

— “La Puerta de la Franquía: Livorno and Pan-Jewish Networks of Beneficence in the Eighteenth Century,” in: Italian Jewish Networks from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century, ed. Francesca Bregoli, Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti and Guri Schwarz (New York: Palgrave, 2018), 39-57.

— “The Balkans and South-Eastern Europe,” in: Cambridge History of Judaism, vol. 8, ed. Mitchell Hart and Tony Michels (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 257-273.

— “Linguistic Transformations: Ladino,” in: Cambridge History of Judaism, vol. 7, ed. Jonathan Karp and Adam Sutcliffe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 104-132.

— “Networks of Patronage and the Birth of Two Ladino Newspapers,” in: Sepharad as Imagined Community, ed. Mahir ?aul and José Ignacio Hualde (New York: Peter Lang, 2017), 133-146.

— “Rabbinic Emissaries from Palestine and the Making of a Modern Jewish Diaspora: A Philanthropic Network in the Eighteenth Century,” in: Envisioning Judaism: Studies in Honor of Peter Schäfer on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday, ed. Ra’anan Boustan, Klaus Hermann, Reimund Leicht, Annette Yoshiko Reed, and Giuseppe Veltri (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013), vol. 2, 1228-1246.

— “Jewish Nationalism in Ladino: Jacob Moshe Hay Altarats’ Zikhron yerushalayim,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 17:2 (2010), 146-159.

— “Rethinking Sephardi Identity: Jews and Other Jews in Ottoman Palestine,” Jewish Social Studies 15:1 (2008), 81-109.

— “Levantinos and Other Jews: Reading H.Y.D. Azulai’s Travel Diary,” Jewish Social Studies 13:3 (2007), 1-34.

— “A Livornese ‘Port Jew’ and the Sephardim of the Ottoman Empire,” Jewish Social Studies 11:2 (2005), 51-76.

— “Representations and Transformation of Knowledge in Judeo-Spanish Ethical Literature: The Case of Eli‘ezer and Judah Papo’s ‘Pele Yo‘ets’,” in Jewish Studies Between the Disciplines, ed. Klaus Hermann et al. (E. J. Leiden: Brill, 2003), 299-324.

— “The Intended Reader of Ladino Rabbinic Literature and Judeo-Spanish Reading Culture,” Jewish History 16 (2002), 283-307.

— “Two Perceptions of Change in Judeo-Spanish Rabbinic Literature,” Sefarad 6 (2000), 95-122.

— “Islamic Legal Consultation and the Muslim-Jewish ‘Convivencia’,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 6 (1999), 25-54.

— “Franz Rosenzweigs Kritik des Islam im ‘Stern der Erlösung’,” Jewish Studies Quarterly 1 (1993/94), 340-361.