What Hanukkah’s Portrayal in Pop Culture Means to American Jews

Hanukkah demands fewer religious rituals than most other Jewish observances. Golden Pixels LLC Despite the primacy of Christmas in American culture, the visibility of Hanukkah in pop culture reminds Jews that they have their own holiday in which they can take pride. By Dr. Ted Merwin / 12.05.2017 Part-Time Associate Professor of Religion Director, The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life (2001) Dickinson College When I was[…]

How Hannukah Came to America

In the United States, Hanukkah has gained much significance. Tercer Ojo Photography/Shutterstock.com Hanukkah is ranked one of Judaism’s minor festivals. It’s popularity in the U.S. has a lot to do with the country’s history. By Dr. Dianne Ashton / 12.02.2018 Professor of Religion Rowan University Hanukkah may be the best known Jewish holiday in the United States. But despite[…]

Enlightenment Jewish Style: The Haskalah Movement, 18th- and 19th-Century Europe

Moses Mendelssohn (left) discusses theology with Johann Kaspar Lavater and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, c.1800 / Wikimedia Commons The Maskilim tried to harmonize the adherence to the Jewish religion and tradition with integration into the European societies. By Dr. Marie Schumacher-Brunhes / 04.19.2012 Professor of German and Scandinavian Languages and Literature Université de Lille Introduction[…]

A Brief History of Messianic Judaism

Young Jews praying at the Kotel, the Western Wall, in Jerusalem (Image © Bigstock/kirill4mula) There are approximately 175,000 to 250,000 messianic Jews in the U.S, and 350,000 worldwide. By Dr. Ingrid Anderson / 11.13.2018 Associate Director of Jewish Studies Lecturer, Arts and Sciences Writing Program Boston University Introduction Messianic Jews consider themselves Jewish Christians. Specifically they believe, as[…]

Materialism and Jewish Reform in the 19th Century

‘Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur,’ by Maurycy Gottlieb, 1878 In the 1870s European Judaism underwent an intellectual revolution.  By Dr. Eliyahu Stern / 10.30.2018 Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual and Cultural History Yale University Be ‘a man in the street and a Jew in the home’: a common piece of advice[…]

Discrimination and Economic Motives for Medieval to Modern Jewish Migration

Sephardic Diaspora map / Skillman Library, Lafayette College Were (and are) Jewish migrations predominantly the result of persecution and discrimination or were economic motives their main cause? By Dr. Tobias Brinkmann / 12.03.2010 Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History Pennsylvania State University Introduction Were (and are) Jewish migrations[…]

Medieval Anti-Semitism: Pogroms from the 12th to 15th Centuries

A miniature from en:Grandes Chroniques de France depicting the expulsion of Jews from France in 1182. / Diaspora Museum, Tel Aviv, Wikimedia Commons Medieval Christians largely held the Jewish people collectively responsible for killing Jesus, through the so-called blood curse of Pontius Pilate in the Gospels. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.28.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Early instances of pogroms against Jews[…]

Second Temple Judaism, Christianity, and the Emergence of Anti-Semitism

Modern reconstruction of what the Second Temple would have looked like after its renovation during the reign of Herod I / Photo by Juan R. Cuadra, Wikimedia Commons Exploring Judaism from 515 BCE to the destruction of the Second Temple and the following rise of anti-semitism in early Christianity. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.28.2018 Public Historian[…]

A History of Diasporan People from Ancient Rome to Today

Roman Triumphal arch (Arch of Titus) panel copy from Beth Hatefutsoth, showing spoils of Jerusalem temple / Wikimedia Commons Diaspora: “a scattering or sowing of seeds” – people or ethnic populations forced or induced to leave their traditional homeland. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.02.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The term diaspora (in Ancient[…]

The Story of the Medieval Jewish Diaspora in an Illuminated Hebrew Masterpiece

Seven centuries of the Rothschild Pentateuch’s history chart the story. By Dr. Elizabeth Morrison / 09.19.2018 Senior Curator of Manuscripts J. Paul Getty Museum Introduction   [LEFT]: Page from a fifteenth-century Bible on view alongside the Rothschild Pentateuch. Initial P: Saint Paul with a Sword from a Bible, about 1450, made in Cologne, Germany. Ink,[…]

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[…]

Farhud: When the Holocaust Came to the Middle East

Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Adolf Hitler (28 November 1941). By Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1987-004-09A / Heinrich Hoffmann / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de Why the UN recognized this event (known as the Farhud) and why it’s important. By Edwin Black / 05.30.2018 When International Farhud Day was proclaimed at a conference convened at the United Nations headquarters on[…]