Place In Modern Jewish Culture And Society

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Place In Modern Jewish Culture And Society

Author : Richard I. Cohen
ISBN : 9780190912635
Genre : Religion
File Size : 21.13 MB
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Notions of place have always permeated Jewish life and consciousness. The Babylonian Talmud was pitted against the Jerusalem Talmud; the worlds of Sepharad and Ashkenaz were viewed as two pillars of the Jewish experience; the diaspora was conceived as a wholly different experience from that of Eretz Israel; and Jews from Eastern Europe and "German Jews" were often seen as mirror opposites, whereas Jews under Islam were often characterized pejoratively, especially because of their allegedly uncultured surroundings. Place, or makom, is a strategic opportunity to explore the tensions that characterize Jewish culture in modernity, between the sacred and the secular, the local and the global, the historical and the virtual, Jewish culture and others. The plasticity of the term includes particular geographic places and their cultural landscapes, theological allusions, and an array of other symbolic relations between locus, location, and the production of culture. The 30th volume of Studies in Contemporary Jewry includes twelve essays that deal with various aspects of particular places, making each location a focal point for understanding Jewish life and culture. Scholars from the United States, Europe, and Israel have used their disciplinary skills to shed light on the vicissitudes of the 20th century in relation to place and Jewish culture. Their essays continue the ongoing discussion in this realm and provide further insights into the historiographical turn in Jewish studies.
Category: Religion

Jewish Culture And Society In North Africa

Author : Emily Benichou Gottreich
ISBN : 9780253001467
Genre : History
File Size : 64.22 MB
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With only a small remnant of Jews still living in the Maghrib at the beginning of the 21st century, the vast majority of today's inhabitants of North Africa have never met a Jew. Yet as this volume reveals, Jews were an integral part of the North African landscape from antiquity. Scholars from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, and the United States shed new light on Jewish life and Muslim-Jewish relations in North Africa through the lenses of history, anthropology, language, and literature. The history and life stories told in this book illuminate the close cultural affinities and poignant relationships between Muslims and Jews, and the uneasy coexistence that both united and divided them throughout the history of the Maghrib.
Category: History

Place In Modern Jewish Culture And Society

Author : Richard I. Cohen
ISBN : 9780190912642
Genre : Religion
File Size : 48.72 MB
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Notions of place have always permeated Jewish life and consciousness. The Babylonian Talmud was pitted against the Jerusalem Talmud; the worlds of Sepharad and Ashkenaz were viewed as two pillars of the Jewish experience; the diaspora was conceived as a wholly different experience from that of Eretz Israel; and Jews from Eastern Europe and "German Jews" were often seen as mirror opposites, whereas Jews under Islam were often characterized pejoratively, especially because of their allegedly uncultured surroundings. Place, or makom, is a strategic opportunity to explore the tensions that characterize Jewish culture in modernity, between the sacred and the secular, the local and the global, the historical and the virtual, Jewish culture and others. The plasticity of the term includes particular geographic places and their cultural landscapes, theological allusions, and an array of other symbolic relations between locus, location, and the production of culture. The 30th volume of Studies in Contemporary Jewry includes twelve essays that deal with various aspects of particular places, making each location a focal point for understanding Jewish life and culture. Scholars from the United States, Europe, and Israel have used their disciplinary skills to shed light on the vicissitudes of the 20th century in relation to place and Jewish culture. Their essays continue the ongoing discussion in this realm and provide further insights into the historiographical turn in Jewish studies.
Category: Religion

The Renaissance Of Jewish Culture In Weimar Germany

Author : Michael Brenner
ISBN : 0300077203
Genre : Religion
File Size : 53.57 MB
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Although Jewish participation in German society increased after World War I, Jews did not completely assimilate into that society. In fact, says Michael Brenner in this intriguing book, the Jewish population of Weimar Germany became more aware of its Jewishness and created new forms of German-Jewish culture in literature, music, fine arts, education, and scholarship. Brenner presents the first in-depth study of this culture, drawing a fascinating portrait of people in the midst of redefining themselves. The Weimar Jews chose neither a radical break with the past nor a return to the past but instead dressed Jewish traditions in the garb of modern forms of cultural expression. Brenner describes, for example, how modern translations made classic Jewish texts accessible, Jewish museums displayed ceremonial artifacts in a secular framework, musical arrangements transformed synagogue liturgy for concert audiences, and popular novels recalled aspects of the Jewish past. Brenner's work, while bringing this significant historical period to life, illuminates contemporary Jewish issues. The preservation and even enhancement of Jewish distinctiveness, combined with the seemingly successful participation of Jews in a secular, non-Jewish society, offer fresh insight into modern questions of Jewish existence, identity, and integration into other cultures.
Category: Religion

The Idea Of Modern Jewish Culture

Author : Eliezer Schweid
ISBN : 9781934843055
Genre : Religion
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The vast majority of intellectual, religious, and national developments in modern Judaism revolve around the central idea of "Jewish culture." This book is the first synoptic view of these developments that organizes and relates them from this vantage point. The first Jewish modernization movements perceived culture as the defining trait of the outside alien social environment to which Jewry had to adapt. To be "cultured" was to be modern-European, as opposed to medieval-ghetto-Jewish. In short order, however, the Jewish religious legacy was redefined retrospectively as a historical "culture," with fateful consequences for the conception of Judaism as a humanly- and not only divinely-mandated regime. The conception of Judaism-as-culture took two main forms: an integrative, vernacular Jewish culture that developed in tandem with the integration of Jews into the various nations of western-central Europe and America, and a national Hebrew culture which, though open to the inputs of modern European society, sought to develop a revitalized Jewish national identity that ultimately found expression in the revival of the Jewish homeland and the State of Israel.
Category: Religion

Encyclopedia Of Modern Jewish Culture

Author : Glenda Abramson
ISBN : 9781134428649
Genre : Reference
File Size : 56.76 MB
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The Encyclopedia of Modern Jewish Culture is an extensively updated revision of the very successful Companion to Jewish Culture published in 1989 and has now been updated throughout. Experts from all over the world contribute entries ranging from 200 to 1000 words broadly, covering the humanities, arts, social sciences, sport and popular culture, and 5000-word essays contextualize the shorter entries, and provide overviews to aspects of culture in the Jewish world. Ideal for student and general readers, the articles and biographies have been written by scholars and academics, musicians, artists and writers, and the book now contains up-to-date bibliographies, suggestions for further reading, comprehensive cross referencing, and a full index. This is a resource, no student of Jewish history will want to go without.
Category: Reference

Exclusion And Hierarchy

Author : Adam S. Ferziger
ISBN : UOM:39015060896811
Genre : Religion
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Following the Jewish Enlightenment, many eighteenth-century Jews chose not to observe the religious laws and customs that had earlier marked them as culturally different from their Christian peers. As the Jewish population became increasingly assimilated, an ultraorthodox movement also emerged, creating a discrete identity for a group within the Jewish community that opted not to move toward the mainstream but instead to embrace the traditional laws. By tracing the evolution of the approach of the Orthodox to their nonpracticing brethren, Adam S. Ferziger sheds new light on the emergence of Orthodoxy as a specific movement within modern Jewish society. In the course of this process, German Orthodoxy in particular articulated a new hierarchical vision of Jewish identity and the structure of modern Jewish society. Viewing Orthodox Judaism as no less a nineteenth-century phenomenon than Reform Judaism or Zionism, Ferziger looks at the ways it defined itself by its relationship to the nonobservant Jewish population. Ferziger argues that as the Orthodox movement emerged, it rejected the stance that the assimilated and nonobservers were deviant outcasts. Instead, they were accepted as legitimate members of a Jewish community, in which Orthodox Jews occupied the pinnacle, as the guardians of its tradition. This book's contribution, however, moves beyond a historical study of Orthodox Judaism. The sociological methodology that Ferziger employs enables the reader to appreciate how other religious groups have sought to carve out their places within the mosaic of modern society.
Category: Religion

The Jewish Past Revisited

Author : David N. Myers
ISBN : 0300146671
Genre : History
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In this fascinating new collection of essays, contemporary historians examine the ways earlier historians have framed, written, and "made" the Jewish past. Probing the ideology and methodology of their professional predecessors, American and Israeli historians offer new perspectives on some of the central figures of twentieth-century Jewish historiography, including Gershom Scholem, S. D. Goitein, Yitzhak Baer, Elias Bickermann, and Cecil Roth, as well as the Israeli "New Historians." Although the lives and work of these scholars differ in many ways, Jewish historians have recurrently confronted the challenges posed by assimilation, antisemitism, and various forms of nationalism. Through their critical examinations of the construction of the Jewish past, the contributors to this volume develop important insights into current attitudes toward the dominant canons and ideals of historical scholarship and the future of historiography. They shine new light on the formation of a historical worldview and the "making" of history.
Category: History

The Hebrew Book In Early Modern Italy

Author : Joseph R. Hacker
ISBN : 9780812205091
Genre : Religion
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The rise of printing had major effects on culture and society in the early modern period, and the presence of this new technology—and the relatively rapid embrace of it among early modern Jews—certainly had an effect on many aspects of Jewish culture. One major change that print seems to have brought to the Jewish communities of Christian Europe, particularly in Italy, was greater interaction between Jews and Christians in the production and dissemination of books. Starting in the early sixteenth century, the locus of production for Jewish books in many places in Italy was in Christian-owned print shops, with Jews and Christians collaborating on the editorial and technical processes of book production. As this Jewish-Christian collaboration often took place under conditions of control by Christians (for example, the involvement of Christian typesetters and printers, expurgation and censorship of Hebrew texts, and state control of Hebrew printing), its study opens up an important set of questions about the role that Christians played in shaping Jewish culture. Presenting new research by an international group of scholars, this book represents a step toward a fuller understanding of Jewish book history. Individual essays focus on a range of issues related to the production and dissemination of Hebrew books as well as their audiences. Topics include the activities of scribes and printers, the creation of new types of literature and the transformation of canonical works in the era of print, the external and internal censorship of Hebrew books, and the reading interests of Jews. An introduction summarizes the state of scholarship in the field and offers an overview of the transition from manuscript to print in this period.
Category: Religion

The Jewish Enlightenment

Author : Shmuel Feiner
ISBN : 9780812221725
Genre : History
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At the beginning of the eighteenth century most European Jews lived in restricted settlements and urban ghettos, isolated from the surrounding dominant Christian cultures not only by law but also by language, custom, and dress. By the end of the century urban, upwardly mobile Jews had shaved their beards and abandoned Yiddish in favor of the languages of the countries in which they lived. They began to participate in secular culture and they embraced rationalism and non-Jewish education as supplements to traditional Talmudic studies. The full participation of Jews in modern Europe and America would be unthinkable without the intellectual and social revolution that was the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment. Unparalleled in scale and comprehensiveness, The Jewish Enlightenment reconstructs the intellectual and social revolution of the Haskalah as it gradually gathered momentum throughout the eighteenth century. Relying on a huge range of previously unexplored sources, Shmuel Feiner fully views the Haskalah as the Jewish version of the European Enlightenment and, as such, a movement that cannot be isolated from broader eighteenth-century European traditions. Critically, he views the Haskalah as a truly European phenomenon and not one simply centered in Germany. He also shows how the republic of letters in European Jewry provided an avenue of secularization for Jewish society and culture, sowing the seeds of Jewish liberalism and modern ideology and sparking the Orthodox counterreaction that culminated in a clash of cultures within the Jewish community. The Haskalah's confrontations with its opponents within Jewry constitute one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of the dramatic and traumatic encounter between the Jews and modernity. The Haskalah is one of the central topics in modern Jewish historiography. With its scope, erudition, and new analysis, The Jewish Enlightenment now provides the most comprehensive treatment of this major cultural movement.
Category: History

The Modern Jewish Experience

Author : Jack Wertheimer
ISBN : 9780814794944
Genre : Religion
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The pace of scholarly research and academic publication in fields of Judaica has quickened dramatically in the second half of the twentieth century. The major consumers and producers of this new scholarship are found in Jewish Studies programs that have proliferated at institutions of higher learning around the world since the 1960s. From the vantage point of the nineties, it is difficult to fathom that until thirty years ago, Jewish studies courses were mainly limited to a few elite universities, rabbinical seminaries, and Hebrew teachers' colleges. Today there are few colleges at public or private insitutions of higher learning that do not sponsor at least some courses on aspects of Jewish study. In light of this explosion of research on Jewish topics, non-specialists and educators can benefit from guidance through the thicket of new monographs, source anthologies, textbooks and scholarly essays. The Modern Jewish Experience, the result of a multi-year collaboration between the International Center for the University Teaching of Jewish Civilization and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, offers just such guidance on a range of issues pertaining to modern Jewish history, culture, religion, and society. With contributions from two dozen leading scholars, The Modern Jewish Experience presents practical information and guidelines intended to expand the teaching repertoire for undergraduate courses on modern Jewish life, as well as a means for college professors to enrich and diversify their courses with discussions on otherwise neglected Jewish communities, social and political issues, religious and ideological movements, and interdisciplinary perspectives. Sample syllabi are also included for survey courses set in diverse linguistic settings. An indispensible resource for undergraduate instruction, this volume may also be used to great profit by educators of adults in synagogue and Jewish communal settings, as well as by individual students engaged in private study.
Category: Religion

Rites And Passages

Author : Jay R. Berkovitz
ISBN : 9780812200157
Genre : History
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In September 1791, two years after the Revolution, French Jews were granted full rights of citizenship. Scholarship has traditionally focused on this turning point of emancipation while often overlooking much of what came before. In Rites and Passages, Jay R. Berkovitz argues that no serious treatment of Jewish emancipation can ignore the cultural history of the Jews during the ancien régime. It was during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that several lasting paradigms emerged within the Jewish community—including the distinction between rural and urban communities, the formation of a strong lay leadership, heightened divisions between popular and elite religion, and the strain between local and regional identities. Each of these developments reflected the growing tension between tradition and modernity before the tumultuous events of the French Revolution. Rites and Passages emphasizes the resilience of religious tradition during periods of social and political turbulence. Viewing French Jewish history through the lens of ritual, Berkovitz describes the struggles of the French Jewish minority to maintain its cultural distinctiveness while also participating in the larger social and economic matrix. In the ancien régime, ritual systems were a formative element in the traditional worldview and served as a crucial repository of memories and values. After the Revolution, ritual signaled changes in the way Jews related to the state, French society, and French culture. In the cities especially, ritual assumed a performative function that dramatized the epoch-making changes of the day. The terms and concepts of the Jewish religious tradition thus remained central to the discourse of modernization and played a powerful role in helping French Jews interpret the diverse meanings and implications of emancipation. Introducing new and previously unused primary sources, Rites and Passages offers a fresh perspective on the dynamic relationship between tradition and modernity.
Category: History

Jewish Pasts German Fictions

Author : Jonathan Skolnik
ISBN : 9780804790598
Genre : History
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Jewish Pasts, German Fictions is the first comprehensive study of how German-Jewish writers used images from the Spanish-Jewish past to define their place in German culture and society. Jonathan Skolnik argues that Jewish historical fiction was a form of cultural memory that functioned as a parallel to the modern, demythologizing project of secular Jewish history writing. What did it imply for a minority to imagine its history in the majority language? Skolnik makes the case that the answer lies in the creation of a German-Jewish minority culture in which historical fiction played a central role. After Hitler's rise to power in 1933, Jewish writers and artists, both in Nazi Germany and in exile, employed images from the Sephardic past to grapple with the nature of fascism, the predicament of exile, and the destruction of European Jewry in the Holocaust. The book goes on to show that this past not only helped Jews to make sense of the nonsense, but served also as a window into the hopes for integration and fears about assimilation that preoccupied German-Jewish writers throughout most of the nineteenth century. Ultimately, Skolnik positions the Jewish embrace of German culture not as an act of assimilation but rather a reinvention of Jewish identity and historical memory.
Category: History

Modern Jewish Mythologies

Author : Glenda Abramson
ISBN : 9780878204748
Genre : Social Science
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Based on the Mason Lectures delivered at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the winter of 1995, the ten essays in this volume demonstrate the function and dynamic effect Jewish mythologies in social, political, and psychological life. Eli Yassif's introduction illustrates the complex relationship between myth and ritual in modern Jewish culture. In a separate essay, he focuses on the ancient Jewish tale of the Golem, a myth that presents an exemplary test case for the exploration of cultural continuity. Using the testimonies of Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe to Britain and the battle on the plain of Latrun in the Israeli War of Independence, David Cesarani and Anita Shapira demonstrate that the process of creating myth is related in one way or another to attempts by specific social and ethnic groups to shape their collective memory. Along these lines, Milton Shain and Sally Frankental interrogate the view that during the apartheid period in South African history, South African Jewry operated on a higher moral plane than most other white South Africans. And while Nurith Gertz examines the male superhero that dominated the early national Zionist cinema and reflected the center of gravity in the Zionist myth, Dan Urian analyzes two Israeli plays produced in the 1990s that examine the myth of the biblical Sarah, rewritten from a feminist perspective. Other essays examine widely held cultural beliefs of contemporary Western Jewry. Jonathan Webber questions whether memory is an essentially Jewish value and remembrance a Jewish moral duty. Tudor Parfitt explores Western and Israeli perceptions of the Yemenite Jews, and Sylvie Anne Goldberg, in examining the evolving role of the chevrah kaddisha in Prague, discusses changes in perceptions of communal institutions and traditional and modern Jewish attitudes with regard to death. Finally, Matthew Olshan offers an analysis of Kafka's animal fables as parables for the Jewish response to tradition.
Category: Social Science

Early Modern Jewry

Author : David B. Ruderman
ISBN : 9780691152882
Genre : History
File Size : 33.18 MB
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Early Modern Jewry boldly offers a new history of the early modern Jewish experience. From Krakow and Venice to Amsterdam and Smyrna, David Ruderman examines the historical and cultural factors unique to Jewish communities throughout Europe, and how these distinctions played out amidst the rest of society. Looking at how Jewish settlements in the early modern period were linked to one another in fascinating ways, he shows how Jews were communicating with each other and were more aware of their economic, social, and religious connections than ever before. Ruderman explores five crucial and powerful characteristics uniting Jewish communities: a mobility leading to enhanced contacts between Jews of differing backgrounds, traditions, and languages, as well as between Jews and non-Jews; a heightened sense of communal cohesion throughout all Jewish settlements that revealed the rising power of lay oligarchies; a knowledge explosion brought about by the printing press, the growing interest in Jewish books by Christian readers, an expanded curriculum of Jewish learning, and the entrance of Jewish elites into universities; a crisis of rabbinic authority expressed through active messianism, mystical prophecy, radical enthusiasm, and heresy; and the blurring of religious identities, impacting such groups as conversos, Sabbateans, individual converts to Christianity, and Christian Hebraists. In describing an early modern Jewish culture, Early Modern Jewry reconstructs a distinct epoch in history and provides essential background for understanding the modern Jewish experience.
Category: History

Jewish Public Culture In The Late Russian Empire

Author : Jeffrey Veidlinger
ISBN : 9780253002983
Genre : History
File Size : 57.65 MB
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In the midst of the violent, revolutionary turmoil that accompanied the last decade of tsarist rule in the Russian Empire, many Jews came to reject what they regarded as the apocalyptic and utopian prophecies of political dreamers and religious fanatics, preferring instead to focus on the promotion of cultural development in the present. Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire examines the cultural identities that Jews were creating and disseminating through voluntary associations such as libraries, drama circles, literary clubs, historical societies, and even fire brigades. Jeffrey Veidlinger explores the venues in which prominent cultural figures -- including Sholem Aleichem, Mendele Moykher Sforim, and Simon Dubnov -- interacted with the general Jewish public, encouraging Jewish expression within Russia's multicultural society. By highlighting the cultural experiences shared by Jews of diverse social backgrounds -- from seamstresses to parliamentarians -- and in disparate geographic locales -- from Ukrainian shtetls to Polish metropolises -- the book revises traditional views of Jewish society in the late Russian Empire.
Category: History

The Routledge Handbook Of Contemporary Jewish Cultures

Author : Nadia Valman
ISBN : 9781135048549
Genre : Literary Criticism
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The Routledge Handbook to Contemporary Jewish Cultures explores the diversity of Jewish cultures and ways of investigating them, presenting the different methodologies, arguments and challenges within the discipline. Divided into themed sections, this book considers in turn: How the individual terms "Jewish" and "culture" are defined, looking at perspectives from Anthropology, Music, Literary Studies, Sociology, Religious Studies, History, Art History, and Film, Television, and New Media Studies. How Jewish cultures are theorized, looking at key themes regarding power, textuality, religion/secularity, memory, bodies, space and place, and networks. Case studies in contemporary Jewish cultures. With essays by leading scholars in Jewish culture, this book offers a clear overview of the field and offers exciting new directions for the future.
Category: Literary Criticism

Studying The Jewish Future

Author : Calvin Goldscheider
ISBN : 9780295801421
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58.42 MB
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Studying the Jewish Future explores the power of Jewish culture and assesses the perceived threats to the coherence and size of Jewish communities in the United States, Europe, and Israel. In an unconventional and provocative argument, Calvin Goldscheider departs from the limiting vision of the demographic projections that have shaped predictions about the health and future of Jewish communities and asserts that "the quality of Jewish life has become the key to the future of Jewish communities." Through the lens of individual biographies, Goldscheider shows how context shapes Jewish senses of the future and how conceptions of the future are shaped and altered by life experiences. Goldscheider�s distinctive comparative approach includes a critical review of population issues, a consideration of biographies as a basis for understanding Jewish values, and an analysis of biblical texts for studying contemporary values. He combines demographic and sociological analyses in historical and comparative perspectives to dispel the notion that quantitative issues are at the heart of the challenge of Jewish continuity in the future. Numbers are clearly the building blocks of community. But the interpretations of these demographic issues are often confusing and biased by ideological preconceptions. As a basis for studying the core themes of the Jewish future, �hard facts� are less �hard� and less "factual" than interpreters have made them out to be. Population projections are limited by the vision of those who prepare them. Goldscheider concludes that the futures of Jewish communities--in America, Europe, and Israel--are much more secure than has been presented in most scholarly and popular publications, and discussions about the Jewish future should shift to other patterns of distinctiveness. This book will appeal to the general Jewish reader as well as to social scientists and modern Jewish historians. It is appropriate for Jewish studies courses, particularly, but not exclusively, those focusing on Jews in the United States, the American Jewish community, and modern Jewish society, and in courses on ethnicity, multiculturalism, cultural diversity, and ethnic relations.
Category: Social Science