Jewish-German SociaWorkers in Germany and Mandatory Palestine/Israel

General information

When social work emerged as a profession in the first decades of the 20th century, a transnational circulation of ideas was a central feature. Transnational agents promoted these processes and played a crucial role for building and developing national welfare systems and professional discourses. An intriguing case of the transnational translation of social-work-knowledge is the transnational movement of social workers and, with them, social welfare ideas, that took place between Germany and the Jewish community in Mandatory Palestine during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The immigration of a number of Jewish social workers, social pedagogues and social welfare experts from Germany to Palestine during this period had an enormous impact on the development of the social work profession in the Jewish future state. The information presented on this website provide insights into the professional biographies, networks and the specific paths of Jewish social workers who were educated in German-speaking countries. Some of them contributed in an often underestimated way to German social work, immigrated to mandatory Palestine and shaped the emerging field of social work.

Using this database


The website provides different ways for researching social workers, including biographical information, their educational and professional activities, migration routes, places of living, networks and professional and scientific writings. Additionally, further information on archival and other sources will be provided. It is possible to use chronological views, several map-views and specified searches.


We warmly invite scholars and interested persons to add relevant information to the presented biographies of social workers or to create new entries for social workers at this database. We include figures matching the following criteria: Professional training or practical experience in the social work field in a German-speaking country, migration to Palestine between 1910 and 1960, engagement in social work, social welfare or educational activities in Mandatory Palestine or, later, in Israel. Persons who had a professional re-training in Palestine or Israel during these years are also relevant. If you wish to add a person, please create an user-account, then click the button ‚create element‘ and follow the instructions. Your entry will be unlocked after an editorial review.

Research project

This website is a result of the research project “The transnational history of social work and social welfare between Germany and Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s”, funded by the German-Israeli-Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (Grant number: G‐1329‐111.4/2016)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel: John Gal, Yehudit Avnir, Ayana Halpern, Nofar Mazursky

University of Trier, Germany: Stefan Köngeter, Dayana Lau, Anne-Kathrin Schmitz

Alice-Salomon-University of Applied Science, Berlin, Germany: Sabine Toppe, Carina Huestegge, Berthold Stadler-Ebenau

The information presented here are the result of many hours in archives, but also highly valuable information from colleagues with whom we discussed this project: 

Adriane Feustel, Claudia Prestel, Dieter J. Hecht, Franz-Michael Konrad, Gerd Stecklina, Joachim Wieler, Michael Jenne, Peter Reinicke, Petra Fuchs, Sabine Haustein, Sabine Hering, Susanne Maurer, Susanne Zeller, Till van Rahden, Verena Buser, Wolfgang Schröer

Archives: Alice-Salomon-Archives, Berlin (ASA); Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem (CZA); Centrum Judaicum, Berlin (CJA); Deutsches Zentralinstitut für soziale Fragen, Berlin (DZI); Federal Archives, Berlin (LAB); Leo-Baeck-Insitute, Berlin/New York/Jerusalem (LBI); National Library of Israel, Jerusalem (NLI); Municipal Archives, Jerusalem; Municipal Archives, Frankfurt; State Office for Residents' and Regulatory Affairs, Berlin (LABO)