The two, unrelated organisations that translate the mid-20th-century teachings of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag into a contemporary universalist message, have given kabbalah a public cross-religious profile:
Bnei Baruch is a group of Kabbalah students, based in Israel. Study materials are available in over 25 languages for free online or at printing cost. Michael Laitman established Bnei Baruch in 1991, following the passing of his teacher, Rabbi Ashlag's son Rav Baruch Ashlag. Laitman named his group Bnei Baruch (sons of Baruch) to commemorate the memory of his mentor. The teaching strongly suggests restricting one's studies to 'authentic sources', kabbalists of the direct lineage of master to disciple.
The Kabbalah Centre was founded in the United States in 1965 as The National Research Institute of Kabbalah by Philip Berg and Rav Yehuda Tzvi Brandwein, disciple of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag's. Later Philip Berg and his wife re-established the organisation as the worldwide Kabbalah Centre. In recent times its outreach teaching in New Age style has attracted a cross-religious celebrity following and media profile, though the organisation is led by Orthodox Jewish teachers.
Other prominent Jewish universalist organisations:
The Kabbalah Society, run by Warren Kenton, an organisation based instead on pre-Lurianic Medieval Kabbalah presented in universalist New Age syncretic style. In contrast, traditional kabbalists read earlier kabbalah through later Lurianism and the systemisations of 16th-century Safed.
The New Kabbalah, website and books by Sanford L. Drob, is a scholarly intellectual investigation of the Lurianic symbolism in the perspective of modern and postmodern intellectual thought. It seeks a "new kabbalah" rooted in the historical tradition through its academic study, but universalised through dialogue with modern philosophy and psychology. This approach seeks to enrich the secular disciplines, while uncovering intellectual insights formerly implicit in kabbalah's essential myth:
"By being equipped with the nonlinear concepts of dialectical, psychoanalytic, and deconstructive thought we can begin to make sense of the kabbalistic symbols in our own time. So equipped, we are today probably in a better position to understand the philosophical aspects of the kabbalah than were the kabbalists themselves."
The German economic crisis worsened. In 1923 Benz & Cie. produced only 1,382 units in Mannheim, and DMG made only 1,020 in Stuttgart. The average cost of an automobile was 25 million marks because of rapid inflation. Negotiations between the two companies resumed and in 1924 they signed an "Agreement of Mutual Interest" valid until the year 2000. Both enterprises standardized design, production, purchasing, sales, and advertisingmarketing their automobile models jointlyalthough keeping their respective brands.
On 28 June 1926, Benz & Cie. and DMG finally merged as the Daimler-Benz company, baptizing all of its automobiles, Mercedes-Benz, honoring the most important model of the DMG automobiles, the 1902 Mercedes 35 hp, along with the Benz name. The name of that DMG model had been selected after ten-year-old Mercds Jellinek, the daughter of Emil Jellinek who had set the specifications for the new model. Between 1900 and 1909 he was a member of DMG's board of management and long before the merger Jellinek had resigned.
Karl Benz was a member of the new Daimler-Benz board of management for the remainder of his life. A new logo was created in 1926, consisting of a three pointed star (representing Daimler's motto: "engines for land, air, and water") surrounded by traditional laurels from the Benz logo, and the brand of all of its automobiles was labeled Mercedes-Benz. Model names would follow the brand name in the same convention as today.
The next year, 1927, the number of units sold tripled to 7,918 and the diesel line was launched for truck production. In 1928, the Mercedes-Benz SSK was presented.
On 4 April 1929, Karl Benz died at home in Ladenburg at the age of eighty-four from a bronchial inflammation. Until her death on 5 May 1944, Bertha Benz continued to reside in their last home. Members of the family resided in the home for thirty more years. The Benz home now has been designated as historic and is used as a scientific meeting facility for a nonprofit foundation, the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation, that honors both Bertha and Karl Benz for their roles in the history of automobiles.