»Reconsidering the Borderlines between Early Modern and Modern Jewish History«

Annual Conference of the Dubnow Institute

This year's annual conference at the Dubnow Institute was devoted a key question in historiography: what is the importance of the early modern period in the process of modernization of the European Jewries? Where do the boundaries lie between the Pre-Modern and Modern in respect to the history of Jewish life worlds?

Two differing approaches were contrasted and discussed against the backdrop of the most recent state of research: (a) the view that modern Jewish history does not begin until the eighteenth century with the Haskalah as a kind of intellectual and cultural »revolution.« And (b), the thesis that Jewish modernity can already be seen in developments extending quite far back in time and whose transformative importance in research is widely recognized. With questions of the periodization of Jewish history and concepts like “modernism,“ »modernization« and »modernity,« in the context of Jewish history, central aspects in the relation between Jewish and general history were touched on as well.

The conference was held in cooperation with the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, the Samuel Braun Chair for the History of the Jews in Prussia, Bar-Ilan University and the Center for Research on the History and Culture of Polish Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Jacob Barnai (Haifa), Israel Bartal (Jerusalem), Shlomo Berger (Amsterdam), Francesca Bregoli (Philadelphia), Yossi Chajes (Haifa), Dan Diner (Leipzig/Jerusalem), Todd Endelman (Ann Arbor), Shmuel Feiner (Ramat Gan), François Guesnet (Potsdam), Gershon Hundert (Montreal), Yosef Kaplan (Jerusalem), Jonathan Karp (Binghamton), Pawel Maciejko (Jerusalem), Ada Rapoport-Albert (London), Moshe Rosman (Ramat Gan), David Ruderman (Philadelphia), Dirk Sadowski (Leipzig), Andrea Schatz (Princeton), Adam Shear (Pittsburgh), Adam Sutcliffe (London), Adam Teller (Haifa), Dror Wahrman (Bloomington), Marcin Wodzinski (Wroclaw), Susanne Zepp (Leipzig).

2nd to 3rd July 2006
Dubnow Institute