Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Studies of the Simon Dubnow Institute, Volume 12

Dirk Sadowski:

Haskala und Lebenswelt.

Herz Homberg und die

jüdischen deutschen Schulen in Galizien



437 pp. with 1 illustration, 2 maps, 5 scales und 1 graph

Hardcover with dust jacket

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010

ISBN 978-3-525-36990-6

Price: 67,00 € (D)

ISBN 978-3-647-36990-7 (e-book)

Price: 54,99 € (D)





Within the framework of his tolcerance policy, the Emperor Joseph II in 1782 issued an order to establish elementary schools for Jewish children throughout the Habsburg Empire. In the Crown Land of Galicia, these schools were supervised from 1787 until their dissolution in 1806 by Her Homberg (1749–1841), protagonist of the Jewish Enlightenment and a disciple of Moses Mendelssohn. Within a short period Herz Homberg succeeded in establishing a network of more than 100 schools – in which Jewish boys and girls were taught the fundamentals of reading and writing in German.


In Volume 12 of the Studies of the Simon Dubnow Institute, by Dirk Sadowski, examines this topic from a double perspective. First, the one hand, the study investigates the translation of pedagogical concepts in the discourse of the Haskala into the practice of absolutist-refomist policy in Habsburg Austria vis-à-vis the Jewish population. Second, the monographic study explores the reality at school in the context of Galician Jewry. It examines school attendance of Jewish children, uncoveing the reasons for absences of Jewish children from school bemoaned by the Austrian authorities. In addition, it describes the counter-strategies by which the Jewish population and its elites, rabbis and communal heads, protected themselves against the repressive elements associated with the schools which were often perceived as a threat to Jewish tradition.


Hence, this is thus a study on the challenges of modernity for a traditionally structured environment attempting to resist state control and disciplining.