The Pale of Settlement (This Week in Jewish History)

Officially banned in 1479, no Jews lived in the Russian Empire until Tsarina Catherine II conquered a major portion of Polish territory, instantly inheriting the largest single concentration of Jews in the world. Under her rule the Pale of Settlement was established, determining the region where Jews were allowed to reside, however tenuously, until theContinue reading “The Pale of Settlement (This Week in Jewish History)”

Two Jews, Three Opinions: Jews and Judaism in the Year Zero (HIS 155 Lecture 1.2)

To view the Prezi associated with this lecture, please click here. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0O4fK0Xwh0]  Excerpt from “The Jewish Diaspora: A Brief History” Henry Abramson 2. Jews and Judaism in the Year Zero Two Jews, three opinions.  The year zero was not nearly as auspicious or significant for Jews as it would later be for Christians. Jews observeContinue reading “Two Jews, Three Opinions: Jews and Judaism in the Year Zero (HIS 155 Lecture 1.2)”

“They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.” (HIS 155 Lecture 1.1)

Instructions: please watch the lecture, review the reading below, and kindly take the anonymous poll.  Thank you! To view the Prezi associated with this lecture, please click here. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcsuYXEhfz8] Excerpt from The Jewish Diaspora: A Brief History Henry Abramson 1. What is Jewish History? “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.”  So runsContinue reading ““They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.” (HIS 155 Lecture 1.1)”

The Strange Story of Shabbetai Tsvi (This Week in Jewish History)

Devastated and demoralized after the violence of the Khmelnytsky rebellion, the Jews of Europe were astounded to hear that a young Kabbalist named Shabbetai Tsvi had proclaimed himself the long-awaited Messiah. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLjc7AvtRWo]

The Jews’ Oath vs. Rothschild (This Week in Jewish History)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN8iccSp3K0] In 1847, the citizens of London elected its first Jew, Lionel de Rothschild, to the House of Commons. Rothschild, however, refused to take the Christian oath required of all members, and resigned without taking his seat in Parliament. He was immediately reelected a second and even a third time until the Jews’ Disabilities ActContinue reading “The Jews’ Oath vs. Rothschild (This Week in Jewish History)”

Janusz Korczak: Hero to Children in the Warsaw Ghetto (This Week in Jewish History)

  [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_jHNKbIXu4] Beloved for his children’s stories, Henryk Goldszmidt wrote under the pen name Janusz Korczak. A lifelong advocate for children’s rights, he ran an orphanage in Warsaw that was world-famous for his innovative pedagogic techniques. Imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi occupation, he continued to serve in this capacity until the terribleContinue reading “Janusz Korczak: Hero to Children in the Warsaw Ghetto (This Week in Jewish History)”

The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara: This Week in Jewish History

In the summer of 1858, 6-year old Edgardo Mortara, a Jewish boy living in Bologna, Italy, was forcibly taken from his home by Italian police acting at the behest of the Inquisition. It had come to the attention of the Church that a teenage non-Jewish servant girl had performed an “emergency baptism” on Edgardo severalContinue reading “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara: This Week in Jewish History”

The Pogroms of 1881-1884: This Week in Jewish History

  [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgGrfEL3ssk] For a larger discussion of the five historical narratives, please see my article The end of intimate insularity: new narratives of Jewish history in the post-Soviet era, in Acts of Symposium “Construction and Deconstruction of National Histories in Slavic Eurasia,” originally delivered at Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, on July 10–13, 2002.