EMW 2005: Jews and Urban Spaces

The second Early Modern Workshop was hosted by the Louis L. Kaplan Chair in Jewish History, the Department of History, and the Rebecca and Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland; by the Hebraica Section of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and was supported by Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.

The setting for Jewish life in the early modern era was overwhelmingly urban. Yet traditional scholarship has tended to treat that fact as no more than a key to geographic categorization. Study after study has been devoted to the Jews of one city or another without much serious exploration of how their specifically urban environment shaped individual Jews, their communities, and their religious/cultural attitudes over the centuries.

The "ghetto" experience has loomed large in the historiography of early modern Jewish urban experience, even though it represented the experience of a small minority of Jews in this period. The vast majority of Jews inhabited smaller, unsegregated towns, in which Jews were an integral part of the social and economic fabric. The 2005 workshop sought to address and elucidate the complex interaction between Jews and their urban environment on various planes: physical and architectural, legal and jurisdictional, economic and social, as well as cultural.

Texts and maps cover a number of urban and geographic settings from London, to The Hague, Frankfurt, Livorno, Florence, Strasbourg, Prague, Poznań, and Minsk. They deal with physical personal space (minutes from the Poznań community record book; responsum of Rabbi Isaac the Great from Poznań; personal record book of Rabbi Hayyim Gundersheim of Frankfurt on Main), the halakhic understanding of space (Responsum of Rabbi Samuel Aboab concerning Genoa; the community minute book of The Hague); economic ideals and realities of Jewish urban existence (the 1595 Cracow community constitution; the ordinances of the community in Prague; appeals of judicial decisions from Livorno); transgressions (documents from Florence; the proceedings of the Old Bailey in London; the community minute book of The Hague); and complex legal boundaries and limitations (1711 decree of the Lithuanian Tribunal, letters of Josel of Rosheim).

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2005
Sunday, August 21st
5:00 PM

EMW 2005: Jews and Urban Spaces

EMW 2005, University of Maryland - College Park

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

5:00 PM - 5:00 PM

6:00 PM

Keynote Address: Moving through Urban Space in Early Modern Europe

Chris Friedrichs, University of British Columbia

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Monday, August 22nd
9:00 AM

The Shtetl in Context

Thomas Hubka, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

Question of the Eruv in Early Modern Europe

David Katz, University of Maryland - Baltimore

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

10:00 AM

11:00 AM

Proceedings of Old Bailey (18th century)

Todd Endelman, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

11:00 AM

1:00 PM

Taverns and Public Drinking in Florence

Stefanie Siegmund, Jewish Theological Seminary

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

Rural Jews of Alsace

Debra Kaplan, Yeshiva University

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

2:00 PM

3:00 PM

Close Quarters Privacy and Jewish House Space in Early Modern Polish Cities

Adam Teller, Brown University

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

3:00 PM

Tuesday, August 23rd
9:00 AM

The Personal Record Book of Hayyim Gundersheim Dayyan (1774)

Edward Fram, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

Marching Soldiers, Opera Houses and Young Jewish Men in Eighteenth-Century Hague: Haag Jewish Community Minute Book

Stefan Litt, Jewish National Library, Israel

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

10:00 AM

11:00 AM

Law, Boundaries, and City Life in Early Modern Poland-Lithuania

Magda Teter, Wesleyan University

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

11:00 AM

1:00 PM

The City as a Place of Regulation, Border and Exclusion

Bernard D. Cooperman, University of Maryland - College Park

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

1:00 PM

3:00 PM

Domestic Interiors of Two Viennese Jewish Elites Probate Court in Vienna, 1730s

David Horowitz, Columbia University

3:00 PM