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. Social and Economic Foundations of Early Ashkenaz

3. Judaism in Medieval Ashkenaz

4. The Crusades and Medieval Antisemitism

5. The Great Upheaval in Eastern Europe

6. The Sabbatean Movement

7. Origins of The Modern Religious Upheaval

8. The Great Conflict: Hasidism, Mitnagdim and Maskilim

9. Maskilim

The rise of the Haskalah.


The Threat of Haskalah (Optional Video)

10. The National Awakening ()

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


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

11. World War I and its Aftermath ()

12. The Holocaust ()

13. Post-war Ashkenaz

The developments in Ashkenazic lands after World War II.


Ashkenaz and Ashkenazim Today (Video)