This article deals with Shakespeare’s reception among German Jewish youth in the early twentieth century. The Jewish youth movements played an appreciable role in Jewish education and culture. The various Jewish youth movements reflected the German Jewish society of the time. Despite the influence of the German youth movement, the young people developed their own German Jewish Bildung canon. Many young Jews in Germany perceived Bildung as an ideal tool for full assimilation. Bildung placed an emphasis on the Jewish youth as an individual, and so served as an ideal tool for full assimilation. My thesis is that by means of the youth movement, German Jewish youth could develop new interpretations of identity, through the creation of a European Bildung ideal, which includes an awareness of the significance of Shakespeare.
Rosa Reicher is completing a PhD thesis on Gershom Scholem as a Bildung theorist at the University of Frankfurt and has lectured at the Institute of Education, University of Heidelberg.