Barbara Lerner Spectre

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Barbara Lerner Spectre
Born 1942 (age 75–76)
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Residence Stockholm, Sweden
Alma mater Barnard College
New York University
Occupation Academic, philosopher
Known for Founding director of Paideia
Spouse(s) Philip Spectre

Barbara Lerner Spectre (born 1942) is an academic[1] and philosophy lecturer, who is the founding director of Paideia,[2] the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, a non-denominational academic institute established in 2001.


Barbara Spectre was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She studied philosophy at Columbia University and NYU, attaining a PhD in Philosophy. She married Rabbi Philip Spectre, and the couple moved in 1967 to Ashkelon, Israel, where she served on the faculty of Jewish Studies at Achva College of Education. After moving to Jerusalem in 1982, she served on the philosophy faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem, the Melton Center of the Hebrew University, and Yellin College of Education where she was cited as Outstanding Lecturer 1995- 1997. She was the founding chairperson of the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem in 1984. She served as a scholar in residence for the United Synagogues, Midwest Regions in 1987, 1990, 1992, 1996 and has lectured extensively throughout the United States.

In 1999, she immigrated to Sweden and settled in Stockholm, to join her husband Philip, who was then serving as the Rabbi of the Stockholm Synagogue, and in 2000 she wrote the foundational paper to the Swedish government for the formation of Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies, which she has continued to direct. In its 10 years of existence (2011) Paideia has educated over 200 persons from 35 countries for leadership positions in the renewal of Jewish culture in Europe.

In 2013 Spectre discussed the role of Jews in promoting multi-culturalism in a video interview.[3] Paul Austin Murphy of the American Thinker stated that the video was spread by anti-semites, promoting a conspiracy theory.[4]

IBA interview[edit]

In an interview with Israeli IBA-News in 2010 Barbara Spectre gained wide attention. The interview was widely dispersed through YouTube and other social-media. The Israeli Broadcasting Authority have removed several of these videos from YouTube.

"Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies [sic] that they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the center of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode, and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role, and without that transformation, Europe will not survive."[5] Barbara Lerner Spectre, IBA-News, 2010.


  • B.A. Barnard College, Columbia University, Philosophy
  • M.A. New York University, Philosophy, Thesis: “The Paradigm Case and Non-Vacuous Contrast Arguments”
  • PhD Candidate, Bar-Ilan University, Philosophy, “Models of Theological Response to the Holocaust in Christian and Jewish Thought”


  • “Educating Jewish Leaders in a Pan-European Perspective”, International Handbook of Jewish Education, Springer, 2011
  • A Different Light: The Hannukah Book of Celebration, Two Volumes, co-editor with Noam Zion, Devora Press, 2000.


  1. ^ Shneer, David. "Jewish Sweden: The Radical Jewish Traveler celebrates secularism at the 60th parallel". My Jewish Learning. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Staff". Paideia. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Barbara Lerner Spectre calls for destruction of Christian European ethnic societies". 
  4. ^ Paul Austin Murphy (28 December 2013). "That Barbara Spectre Video". American Thinker. 
  5. ^ The Jewish Community of Sweden. September 12, 2010

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