Essential Lectures in Jewish History


The Essential Lectures in Jewish History series is designed to be short and to the point, serving as basic introductions to larger themes in Jewish history that are explored in the Jewish Biographies series.  Enjoy in good health!

1.“They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.”
2. “Two Jews, three opinions:” Jews and Judaism in the Year Zero
3. The Fox in the Ruins: The Roman-Jewish Wars
4. Judaism and the Origins of Christianity
5. The Mishnah: Creating a Portable Judaism
6. Jewish Communal Structure: The Kehilla
7. The Talmud
8. Jews in the Early Muslim Period
9. The Jewish Kingdom of Khazaria
10. The Golden Age of Spanish Jewry
11. The Rishonim
12. Jews in the Medieval Economy
13. The Eastern European Center
14. Medieval Antisemitism
15. Introduction to Modern Jewish History
16. Incipient Revival and Divergence: The Sixteenth Century
17. The Haskalah
18. Origins of Modern Jewish Humor
19. Mass Jewish Politics in the Modern Era
20. Modern Antisemitism
21. Women in Jewish History
22. The Holocaust
23. The Borders of the State of Israel

24. American Jewish History

25. Soviet Jewish History

24 thoughts on “Essential Lectures in Jewish History

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  1. Even as a gentile I find some of these lectures amazing. As a history teacher I’m just astounded by the fluency you have discussing so many eras. Your students are very lucky to have a resource like you. Do keep up the good work with the videos – I love the biographical ones.

  2. Hi
    I just want to give a suggestion
    I see That part of you dévotion to the comunauty is by uploading your class on te web
    It would be a good idea to pût all of you lectures into a google drive wich Will be accessible for thos wich want to Know about your class
    And its very good because That could be download and be listen in a ipod or other mp3 player ( i am a yeshiva bochur…)
    I am ready to help in this important job

  3. I read the recent email about the upcoming lectures on the Jews of Sepharad. What caught my attention were the statistics of Israel’s ‘Sephardic’ demographics, being that they were so high. Perhaps I’m in error, so please correct this notion if I am wrong.. but.. I do believe that, in Israel, the term Sepharadim refers to most any Jew who is not Ashkenazic. However – at least, according to my family’s (proprietary) feelings, being Sephardic is defined by language, that is, by speaking Ladino. Therefore, for example, the Syrians who lived next to us were considered a different type of Jew, one spoke Arabic and French. So, this is just a thought, a feeling.
    Just one more thing: In Israeli schools – at least in the late 50’s – the teaching was, that All Jews decended from the Sephardic migrations of the Inquisition (and, I capitalize that word out of custom, not respect). Your turn.
    (Of course, you don’t have to answer me directily, but I will follow your lectures this fall with much interest.) Lucille

    1. Hello Lucille!

      You’re absolutely right. I would certainly like to include some 19th and 20th century figures who are more accurately described as Mizrahi, so I’m going to emend the title.


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  5. Dr. Abramson:

    It just occurred to me that you are my longest llived Youtube subscription. I periodically unsubscribe from all sorts of interesting channels, but it would never cross my mind to forego your wonderful insights and pleasant demeanor. Thank you so much for sharing your erudition, wisdom and questionable comedic sense (:-) with us.

  6. Dr. Abramson,

    Baruch Hashem! I am so glad I discovered your videos about 6 months ago. I am a teacher myself, but I truly love the lectures you have posted online. I have learned so much about both our people and history in a way that is interesting and interactive. Your vast knowledge, mixed with your humor really adds so much to making it a fun experience to watch and learn various topics. I thought I knew a lot, but boy was I mistaken. Thank you for helping to make me and thousands of other viewers more well rounded people. I have already shared your videos with others in the Baltimore Jewish community so they can broaden their knowledge as well.

    Best wishes!

  7. Just stumbled across the links to the video lectures and fond myself watching the essentials in one day . they to be both informative and entertaining . and look forward to watching more of the lectures .
    John B Brooks

  8. I recently went through your crash course in Jewish history and I survived Jewish history and now I am going through the essentials series. I feel like I have learned a lot. I am looking forward to watching the biography series next where I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more.

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