A Thousand Years of Ashkenaz

A survey history of the Jewish communities of Ashkenaz, from the original settlements in western Europe through the great migration to east-central and eastern Europe. Topics to be covered include the social, economic and religious foundations of the communities, the impact of antisemitism, the rise of Hasidism and the Jewish enlightenment, modern Jewish political movements, the Holocaust, concluding with an assessment of Ashkenazi Jewry in the early 21st century.

This course was designed to support preparation for AH 101: A Thousand Years of Ashkenaz, Jews and Non-Jews in East Central Europe.

1. Earliest Jewish Communities in Ashkenaz

2. Judaism in Medieval Ashkenaz

3. The Crusades

4. Jews and the Medieval Economy

5. The Development of Medieval Jew-Hatred

6. The Great Upheaval in Eastern Europe

Migration of Ashkenazi Jews to Eastern Europe, the foundations of the Arenda economy, and the Khmel’nyts’kyi Rebellion.


The Khmel'nyts'kyi Rebellion (Video) Self-Test Quiz Module 6 Class Discussion Module 6 Optional: Who was Gluckel of Hameln? (Video)

7. The Sabbatean Movement

8. Origins of The Modern Religious Upheaval

The intellectual and religious life of Ashkenazic Jewry in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.


Hasidim, Mitnagdim, Maskilim: Prolegomenon Self-Test Quiz Module 8 Class Discussion Module 8 Optional: Who was Sarah bas Tovim? (Video)

9. Hasidism

10. Maskilim

11. The National Awakening

The birth of modern Jewish political movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Mass Jewish Politics (Video) Optional: Who Was Vladimir Jabotinsky? (Video)

12. World War I and its Aftermath

The grand reshuffling of peoples in East-Central Europe and the tentative pragmatic expression of Jewish political ideologies.


Hitler's Rise to Power Soviet Jewish History (Video) Optional: Who was Sarah Schenirer? (Video) Optional: Evgenia Ginzburg and Life under Stalin (Video)

13. The Holocaust

14. Ashkenaz and Ashkenazim Today

The post-war revival of Ashkenazic Culture in Europe and around the world.


Ashkenaz and Ashkenazim Today (Video)