Barbara Lerner Spectre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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


Barbara Spectre was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated in New York City. 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 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, joining 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.


An interview with Israeli IBA News has gained wide attention among far right websites. The interview was widely dispersed through YouTube and other social media.

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

— 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. ^ "Staff". Paideia. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 

External links[edit]