The Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk was founded in 2009 as an organisation to support gifted students within the Jewish community. As a sign of our vision of an open and self-confident Judaism at the heart of society, we opened the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Haus in 2017 – our office in the heart of Berlin. The ELES advisory board represents the flourishing diversity of Judaism in Germany, and trusted advisors from a wide range of disciplines accompany the scholarship holders during their funding period. Our namesake and the example he set guides our work: for Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich, learning and teaching were just as essential to Judaism as intra-Jewish and interreligious dialogue.
We see the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich House, which has housed our office since 2017, as a symbol of an accessible Judaism that has its place in the heart of society, side by side with other religious groups and political decision-makers.
The legal entity of the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk is the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk e.V. The association exclusively and directly pursues non-profit purposes. Its purpose is the promotion of education and science. The association realises the purpose of its statutes primarily by providing material and non-material support to talented Jewish students and doctoral candidates.
The board of the association consists of three persons: The chairperson and two vice-chairpersons.
The ELES Advisory Board is composed of renowned Jewish figures from academic and religious life. From the selection of scholarship holders to non-material support, the advisory board is the body that shapes the direction of the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk.
The counsellors are an important point of contact for current scholarship holders of the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk. The members of the advisory board elect the committee of counsellors. It advises the office on all questions concerning the liaison counsellors.
The members of the advisory board elect the programme committee. The committee is responsible for the conceptual design of the non-material support programme.
The members of the advisory board elect the selection committee. The committee advises the Studienwerk staff on all selection-related issues.
The Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk attaches great importance to the participation of scholarship holders and assigns them an important role in the non-material support programme. The scholarship holders participate in the planning and implementation of the annual programme and elect representatives at both regional and national level. The scholarship holder representatives at large speak for their fellow scholarship holders in the committees of the Studienwerk as well as in public. They are full voting members of the advisory board and the programme committee.
Promoting the religious competence of our scholarship holders is an essential aspect of the non-material support programme. Two religious facilitators from different Jewish denominations take turns accompanying the seminar work. Under their guidance, two praxis seminars take place each year, which not only provide insights into different religious practices, but also offer a protected space for confidential discussions about all aspects of everyday Jewish religious life. The praxis seminars can focus on different topics; fixed components include celebrating Shabbat together and the “Ask the Rabbi” format.
ELES is committed to the life’s work of its namesake, the historian and religious scholar Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich (1921-2007). Born in Berlin, Ehrlich was one of Leo Baeck’s last students at the Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judentums before he fled to Switzerland. His work focused on dialogue within a pluralistic Judaism and between religions. His life story includes the experience of the persecution, destruction, and reconstruction of European Jewry. We also want to keep the memory of these experiences of Ehrlich alive through our work.
In memory of our namesake, we also award the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Medal for the Arts and Sciences.
Als letzter aktiver Schüler der letzten Generation der Lehranstalt der Wissenschaft des Judentums spüre ich die tiefe Verpflichtung zu helfen. Nur so wird es gelingen, den Tausenden von Juden, die in den letzten Jahrzehnten nach Deutschland gekommen sind, eine geistige jüdische Identität zu vermitteln, die ihnen bisher verwehrt war.
Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich sel. A., Namensgeber Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk