April 7-8, 2024
Field Trip

Southern Moravia

Students from the Jewish Studies Program, joined by Michael Miller, Jan Rybak, Carsten Wilke, and trip coordinator Ester Novotna, recently traveled to historical Jewish sites across Břeclav (Lundenburg) and Mikulov (Nikolsburg) from 7-8 April 2024. The trip began in Břeclav with a lecture by Professors Miller and Wilke in front of the local Synagogue, a tour of the former Jewish quarter, and a tour of the Jewish cemetery. The group then took the train to scenic Mikulov in the afternoon, ending the day with a wine tasting at Prostě SKLEP. The following morning began with a tour of the recently restored Mikulov Synagogue, followed by the Jewish cemetery. Professor Miller lectured at the esteemed Rabbi Mordecai Benet's grave at the cemetery, as did Professor Rybak at the Jewish First World War memorial. The trip ended with a tour of the Mikulov Mikvah and the Jewish quarter and a short train journey back to Vienna.


April 2-4, 2024
Excursion Cycle

Jewish Heritage in Budapest

SzentendreThe 2024 Course in Jewish Heritage, instructed by Professor Carsten Wilke, ended on a three-day excursion to Budapest and its surroundings. On the first day, we went on a walking-tour with Professor Rudolf Klein to the modernist 13th district Újlipótváros; we traveled to the countryside town of Szentendre and saw the renovated neo-classical synagogue of Óbuda. On the second day, we toured the medieval Jewish sites on Buda Castle Hill with Professor József Laszlovszky, visited the Great Synagogue and the Hungarian Jewish Museum with the guidance of its director, Zsuzsanna Toronyi, and were welcomed at the Rabbinical Seminary - Jewish University by the director of its library, Balázs Tomási. On the last day, Professor Michael Miller led a tour of the Salgotarjani Cemetery, and Ágnes Kende guided us in the Holocaust Memorial Museum. A walk to the "Glass House" and other memorial sites in the 5th district concluded the trip.

Salgotarjani Cemetery


January 14-16, 2024
Excursion Cycle

Jewish Heritage in Vienna

Jewish Cemetery Währing

Professor Wilke's MA course "Jewish Heritage" started with a three-day excursion cycle in Vienna. On the first day, students and faculty walked the Ringstrasse, guided by the historian Michaela Feurstein-Prasser, and visited the Jewish Cemetery in the 18th Viennese district with members of the association “Save the Währing Jewish Cemetery." The second day was devoted to an excursion to Eisenstadt, where the director of the Austrian Jewish Museum,  Esther Heiss, and former director Johannes Reiss welcomed us, as well as to a walk in the second Viennese district, the Leopoldstadt, guided by Stefan Turmelin. On the third day, participants visited both locations of the Jewish Museum Vienna, guided by Hannah Landsmann, and were received in the Stadttempel Synagogue by Claudia Prutscher, vice-president of the Vienna Jewish Community. The excursion cycle ended with a public round table discussion “What Is Jewish About Jewish Museums?” with Dr. Barbara Staudinger, director of the JMW, and Bernhard Purin, director of the Jewish Museum Munich, moderated by Dr. Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek.


September 13, 2023
Walking Tour


Students in Jewish Studies started the academic year with a walking tour in in the 2nd district of Vienna, Leopoldstadt, which has been the center of Jewish life in the Austrian capital since the seventeenth century. Faculty evoked the early modern Jewish ghetto on the island facing Vienna, the sites of synagogues and schools in the nineteenth century, the shelter for Jewish refugees during WWI, and various present-day Jewish institutions in the area.


May 4, 2022
Walking Tour


Students from the Nationalism Studies Program and the Jewish Studies Specialization were invited to a walk in the 2nd District of Vienna. The itinerary started at the memorial site where Vienna's main synagogue, the "Leopoldstädter Tempel," stood between 1858 and 1938, and included the sites of the Orthodox and the Sephardi synagogues, of the Nazi deportation collection point and of the Gestapo building. Jewish life in the district, once nick-named "Matzo Island," has revived after the Holocaust, most visibly in several Jewish institutions and the recently restored Jewish theater "Nestroyhof".

March 4, 2022
Field Trip


A train ride from Vienna, students of the Jewish Studies Specialization explored Eisenstadt, a city in the Burgenland region of Austria. The tour was organized by Professor Michael Miller in the framework of his seminar class "Jews in the Habsburg Empire" and guided by Gerhard Baumgartner, director of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance (DÖW). Close to the castle of the Esterházy family, who were the lords of this formerly Hungarian city between 1622 and 1848, the Jewish Quarter was an autonomously administrated village. The quarter still conserves the small palace in which the imperial factor Samson Wertheimer had his residence and private synagogue, as well as two important cemeteries dating back to 1679. In postwar Austria, the authorities demolished the main synagogue in 1951, but established in the Wertheimer Palace in 1972 the Austrian Jewish Museum, which has become a pioneering institution in the country's historical memory.


November 14, 2021

Medieval Synagogue in Korneuburg

Before being locked down anew, students of Professor Carsten Wilke's "Jewish Cultural Heritage" class made an excursion to the fourteenth-century synagogue in Korneuburg near Vienna (now used as a garage) and learned from local historian Mag. Klaus Köhler about the challenges of promoting and restoring Jewish heritage in a small town.

October 26, 2021
Vienna Walking Tour

In the Footsteps of Herzl

In the framework of his class "Zionism and Other Jewish Nationalisms," Professor Michael Miller guided CEU students in Jewish Studies and Nationalism Studies to major stations in the life of the Viennese journalist and Zionist leader Theodor Herzl (1860-1904). We met in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), where young Herzl, prior to his "conversion" to Zionism, dreamt to counter the threat of antisemitism by a solemn mass conversion of Jews to the Catholic Church. We proceeded to the building where Herzl had his workplace at the liberal daily journal Neue Freie Presse, then to the concert hall of the Musikverein where two Zionist Congresses and Herzl's funeral ceremony took place. We stopped in front of the Burgtheater, where several of his plays were performed, and in Türkenstrasse, where the Executive Committee of the World Zionist Organization had its offices and edited its journal Die Welt. Herzl lived nearby in Bergstrasse, not far from where Dr. Freud's couch originally stood. Our excursion ended on Döblinger Cemetery, where Herzl rested in (relative) peace between 1904 and 1949. In that year, the newly founded State of Israel, in accordance with Herzl's last will, reburied his body in Jerusalem.

October 17, 2021
Vienna Excursion


The first Jewish Studies excursion after CEU's move to Vienna and the confinement during the Covid pandemic was to Judenplatz (Jews' Square) in the Viennese Inner City, center of medieval Jewish community and site of the Holocaust memorial by Rachel Whiteread. Students from Professor Wilke's class "Jewish Cultural Heritage" saw the exhibition on the medieval Jewish community and the excavated remains of its synagogue destroyed in 1421.