Press Release

15 December 2022

In Their Surroundings

New Open Access Publication


The catalogue “In Their Surroundings" sheds light on key figures in Jewish literatures in Eastern Europe such as Yosef ayyim Brenner, Leah Goldberg, Moyshe Kulbak, and Dvoyre Fogel. They are presented in short portraits and a close reading of selected texts. The catalogue is published free of charge as an open-access edition as part of the “Digital Catalogues” series of the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture Simon Dubnow. From January 2023 onward, it will also be available in classic book format.

From the second half of the nineteenth century through to World War II, Eastern Europe, especially the territories that formerly made up the Pale of Settlement in the Tsarist Empire, witnessed a Jewish cultural blossoming that went hand-in-hand with a multifaceted literary productivity in the Hebrew and Yiddish languages. Accompanied and sometimes directly affected by the dramatic political ruptures of the era, many authors experimented with various modernist poetics in the context of a culturally and literarily closely interwoven milieu.

The richly illustrated catalogue, edited by Efrat Gal-Ed, Natasha Gordinsky, Sabine Koller, and Yfaat Weiss, illuminates the productive entanglement of cultures and literatures in the multilingual, multicultural and multireligious spaces of Central and Eastern Europe. A total of twenty essays explore cultural contact and transfer, as well as the significance of space and place for the development of modern Jewish literatures.

The Dubnow Institute’s English-language series »Digital Catalogues« is a modern variant of the classic anthology. In concise essays with few footnotes and ample amounts of photos and documentation, the series presents selected thematic foci in an accessible manner.

With contributions by

Frieder von Ammon, Sivan Beskin, Naomi Brenner, Efrat Gal-Ed, Natasha Gordinsky, Matan Hermoni, Roni Henig, Sabine Koller, Enrico Lucca, Anastasiya V. Lyubas, Anna Maja Misiak, Svetlana Natkovich, Werner Nell, Lilah Nethanel, Dekel Shay Schory, Rafael Tsirkin-Sadan, Daria Vakhrushova, Gil Weissblei, Annette Wolf, and Tetyana Yakovleva