Photo credit: ©Clas Göran Carlsson

Barbara Spectre, the founding director of Paideia – the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, was recently awarded the King’s medal by King Carl Gustav XVI. Spectre received her medal at the Royal Palace for “outstanding contributions to Jewish culture in Sweden and internationally.”

A resident of Jerusalem, Spectre founded Paideia in 2000 in Stockholm. To date the Institute has achieved international recognition for empowering 700 Europeans in 40 countries – teachers and lawyers, artists and journalists – all committed to Paideia’s combination of academics and entrepreneurial activism in the service of the Jewish people. The graduates, a third of whom have PhD’s, have established over 220 innovative ventures in Jewish culture throughout Europe.

In tribute, French graduate Sophie G. said: “Great educators are not solely transmitters of texts. They serve as role models for the next generations. By daring to ask the bravest questions, by incarnating a Judaism both deep and open, [Paideia] and Barbara taught me not only what we can demand of our texts, but also what our texts demand of us. For that, and for her warmth, her care and humour, I am forever grateful.”