The Strange, Short Career of Judeo-Christianity

FDR / Library of Congress By Dr. Gene Zubovich / 03.22.2016 Visiting Lecturer in History University of California, Berkeley President Barack Obama insists that the United States defines itself by civic principles rather than by religious affiliation. In an otherwise unremarkable press conference in Turkey in 2009, he said: ‘[A]lthough… we have a very large Christian population,[…]

The Architecture of Medieval Synagogues in Toledo, Spain

View of Toledo, Spain with the Samuel Halevi Abulafia synagogue at the center and the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes in the background (photo: Yildori, CC BY-SA 3.0) By Dr. Diane Reilly / 04.06.2018 Associate Professor of Art History, Department Chair Indiana University By the time the first surviving synagogues were built in Spain, Jews had[…]

The Development of Zionism from the First World War to the Establishment of the State of Israel

David Ben Gurion with members of Jewish Zionist Youth Movement in Tallin in Estonia. / Wikimedia Commons Tracing the history of European-shaped Zionism during and after the First World War until the founding of Israel in 1948. By Dr. Martin Kloke / 09.07.2011 Editor-in-Charge of Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion Cornelsen Schulverlagen Introduction This article traces the[…]

Zionism in Europe up to the First World War

Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president / Jerusalem Post The longing for Zion, the hope that the dispersed Jews would be brought back to Eretz Israel, the land of Israel, had always been present in Judaism. By Dr. Kerstin Armborst-Weihs / 08.15.2011 Historian and Research Assistant Institute for European History Mainz Introduction The longing for Zion, the hope[…]

Uncovering Ancient Ashkenaz – The Birthplace of Yiddish Speakers

Did Ashkenazi Jews descend from ancient Turkey? Everett Historical/Shutterstock Yiddish was at one time the international language of Ashkenazic Jews, but it’s exact origin has always been somewhat unclear, until now. By Dr. Eran Elhaik / 05.06.2016 Lecturer in Population, Medical and Evolutionary Genomics University of Sheffield At 1,000 years, the search for the location of Ashkenaz – thought to be the birthplace of Ashkanazic[…]

Ashkenazi Jews in Early Modern Europe

“Yiddish Motifs” (Yidishe Motoyf). Woodcut of a traditional Shtetl by the Chicago-based Ashkenazi artist Todros Geller, published in the series “From Land to Land” (Fun Land tsu Land) during the 1930s. / WorldAtlas By Dr. Predrag Bukovec / 03.07.2012 Liturgiology University of Vienna Introduction This article describes the history of Jews in Eastern Europe which[…]

The Evolving Judeo-Christian Concept of “Hell” from the Ancient World to Today

The abyss of hell. Sandro Botticelli The meaning of hell might have changed over the centuries, but for devout Christians it remains a core part of their faith. By Dr. Joanne M. Pierce / 04.18.2018 Professor of Religious Studies College of the Holy Cross The recent dispute over whether Pope Francis denied the existence of hell[…]

Edom Divided: Jews and Christian Anti-Judaism in the Reformation

Jews in the Syngagoue by Rembrandt / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Lars Fischer / 10.27.2017 Honorary Research Associate, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies University College London “The Reformation” is really an umbrella term that covers a whole range of partly distinct, partly overlapping reformations that emerged and unfolded (even narrowly conceived) over the best[…]

A Tantalizing Find from the Jews of Medieval Afghanistan

A letter in Judeo-Persian dealing with financial and family matters / Afghan Genizah collection at the National Library of Israel via Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Samuel Thrope / 01.07.2016 Writer and Translator Based in Jerusalem In 1946, the French philologist André Dupont-Sommer published the first Jewish tombstone inscription from Firozkoh in Afghanistan. Dated between the[…]

The True Meaning of Hannukah – Jewish Survival

Shutterstock By Dr. Alan Avery-Peck / 12.07.2017 Kraft-Hiatt Professor in Judaic Studies College of the Holy Cross Beginning on the evening of Dec. 12, Jews will celebrate the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, perhaps the best-known and certainly the most visible Jewish holiday. While critics sometimes identify Christmas as promoting the prevalence in America today of[…]