Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Project »A New History of Hasidism«

In 1931 Simon Dubnow's classic two-volume study Toldot Chasidut appeared in a German translation, Geschichte des Chassidismus (Berlin: Jüdischer Verlag). It remains until today the sole comprehensive work on this religious movement that arose in the mid-eighteenth century in Eastern Europe.


An international group of researchers began work on a New History of Hasidism in 2011. The research team aims at writing a new and first truly comprehensive history of the movement as a whole, going beyond the time frame of Simon Dubnow's study, which utilized source materials down to 1815 as a cutoff point. It is comprised of experienced senior and younger historians from Poland, Israel, Great Britain and the United States.


The project, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, includes the option of four research stays for the participating scholars between two weeks up to one month in order to deepen international scientific cooperation. In the summertime 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, these research stays are designed to assist the research team in essential work and writing on the multi-volume study of Hasidism that is projected. Not only is the corpus of source materials so large that it can only be properly dealt with by a research collective; the material is also scattered in many localities, and is written in four languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish and Russian.

Team Members

David Assaf, Tel Aviv University 

David Biale (Projektleiter), University of California, Davis

Benjamin Brown, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Uriel Gellman, Tel Aviv University

Samuel Heilman, Queens College, New York

Elly Moseson, Boston University

Ada Rapoport-Albert, University College, London

Moshe Rosman, Bar-Ilan University

Gadi Sagiv, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

Marcin Wodzinski, Wroclaw University