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Edited by Yosef Kaplan

From the sixteenth century on, hundreds of Portuguese New Christians began to flow to Venice and Livorno in Italy, and to Amsterdam and Hamburg in northwest Europe. In those cities and later in London, Bordeaux, and Bayonne as well, Iberian conversos established their own Jewish communities, openly adhering to Judaism. Despite the features these communities shared with other confessional groups in exile, what set them apart was very significant. In contrast to other European confessional communities, whose religious affiliation was uninterrupted, the Western Sephardic Jews came to Judaism after a separation of generations from the religion of their ancestors. In this edited volume, several experts in the field detail the religious and cultural changes that occurred in the Early Modern Western Sephardic communities.
No Access

The Academic Middle-Class Rebellion

Socio-Political Conflict Over Wage-Gaps in Israel, 1954-1956

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Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen

This new research investigates socio-political and ethnic-cultural conflicts over wage gaps in Israel during the 1950s. The Academic Middle-Class Rebellion exposes the struggle of the Ashkenazi (European) professional elite to capitalize on its advantages during the first decade of Israeli statehood, by attempting to maximize wage gaps between themselves and the new Oriental Jewish proletariat. This struggle was met with great resistance from the government under the ruling party, Mapai, and its leader David Ben-Gurion. The clash between the two sides revealed diverse, contradictory visions of the optimal socio-economic foundation for establishing collective identity in the new nation-state. The study by Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen uncovers patterns that merged nationalism and socialism in 1950s Israel confronting a liberal and meritocratic vision.
No Access

Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?

Interpellation, Exclusion, and Inessential Solidarities

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Reuven Snir

In Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?: Interpellation, Exclusion, and Inessential Solidarities, Professor Reuven Snir, Dean of Humanities at Haifa University, presents a new approach to the study of Arab-Jewish identity and the subjectivities of Arabized Jews. Against the historical background of Arab-Jewish culture and in light of identity theory, Snir shows how the exclusion that the Arabized Jews had experienced, both in their mother countries and then in Israel, led to the fragmentation of their original identities and encouraged them to find refuge in inessential solidarities. Following double exclusion, intense globalization, and contemporary fluidity of identities, singularity, not identity, has become the major war cry among Arabized Jews during the last decade in our present liquid society.
No Access

Abraham Ibn Daud's Dorot 'Olam (Generations of the Ages)

A Critical Edition and Translation of Zikhron Divrey Romi, Divrey Malkhey Yisraʾel, and the Midrash on Zechariah

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Katja Vehlow

Written by Abraham ibn Daud of Toledo (c. 1110-1180), Dorot ‘Olam (Generations of the Ages) is one of the most influential and innovative historical works of medieval Hebrew literature. In four sections, three of which are edited and translated in this volume for the first time, Dorot ‘Olam asserts the superiority of rabbinic Judaism and stresses the central role of Iberia for the Jewish past, present, and future. Combining Jewish and Christian sources in new ways, Ibn Daud presents a compelling vision of the past and formulates political ideas that stress the importance of consensus-driven leadership under rabbinic guidance. This edition demonstrates how Dorot ‘Olam was received by Jewish and Christian readers who embraced the book in Hebrew, Latin, and two English and German translations.