The network is named after Israel Jacobson (1768-1828). Jacobson, who was born in Halberstadt, worked as a rabbi and banker in Braunschweig. As a staunch advocate of Jewish enlightenment, he founded an early Jewish reform school in 1801 in the then Brunswick town of Seesen, which quickly became one of the most important places of enlightened Jewish education and soon after its foundation also accepted Christian pupils. It was thus a pioneer for the legal and lived social equality of the Jewish population.
Jacobson was also a champion of the Jewish reform movement: In the courtyard of his school in Seesen, he had the Jacob Temple built, the first synagogue building designed for the Reform rite. The Jacobson School and the Jacob Temple sent out important signals of the Jewish community's departure from tradition into modernity. To this day, countless Jewish communities throughout the world refer to the reform movement initiated in Seesen.
With the work of Israel Jacobson, the Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment, had one of its centres in the Duchy of Brunswick in the 19th century. His Reform School and the Jacob Temple in Seesen were just as groundbreaking for the movement of Jewish civilisation as his commitment to the legal equality of the Jewish population. In 1807 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Helmstedt for his work.
Verfasst von Viktoria Möslinger-Gehmayr