Imperial Education.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the British Mandate Area

Lecture by Adi Livny (Middlebury College, Vermont) as part of the lecture series »Educational Paths. New Approaches to the History of Jewish Higher Education«

Knowledge was traditionally held in high regard in Judaism. If holy scriptures and ritual texts were initially of greatest interest, following the Haskala attention was also paid to worldly content. The entry of Jews into the university, which was for a long time regarded as a Christian corporation, the emergence of the »Wissenschaft des Judentums,« and the establishment of the institute of higher education bearing this name in 1872 were expressions of a Jewish educational ideal in transition. At the same time, this formed part of a general process of secularization and emancipation.

These developments by no means followed a linear course. Progress and tradition were reflected in the question of Jewish erudition just as much as participation and exclusion. Following the achievement of legal equality and the formal admission of Jews to all courses of study, institutes of higher education provided opportunities of upward mobility to Jews. However, these institutions were also places of exclusion and discrimination, while certain professions remained closed to Jews.

This research colloquium will explore these ambivalences in Jewish history through the example of institutes of higher education and educational paths generally. The focus lies on new directions and methods in research as well as on the dissemination of research and knowledge.

2 Feburary 2023, 5.15 p.m.