EMW 2004: Early Modern Jewries

The first annual workshop on the early modern period in Jewish history, entitled “Early Modern Jewries” took place at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT in August 2004. It was sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, with an additional support from the Louis L. Kaplan Chair of Jewish History at the University of Maryland and the Certificate Program for Jewish and Israel Studies at Wesleyan University.

The first workshop looked broadly at the early modern period, and developed a number of themes that would be pursued at subsequent workshops. Participants covered a broad, if still necessarily limited, range of geographic, thematic, and disciplinary topics, resulting in the first collection of impressive texts on early modern Jewish history. They include privileges granted by monarchs and lords to Jews (privileges granted to Jews of Great Poland in 1453, to a Jewish community in Jampol in 1711, to Jews in Trieste in 1771), various expressions of intellectual creativity of Jews (Ets Hayyim by Hayyim Vital, work of an east European Baal Shem, Sefer Marekhet ha-Elohut by Yehuda Hayat, Yakov Emden’s Mitpahat Sefarim, Keshet u-Magen by Zemah Duran, Kol Sakhal), halakhic materials (registers of a Bet Din, a rabbinic court, in Metz, France; Seder Mitzvot Nashim, a book of women’s commandments), Jewish travelers accounts (Obadiah of Bertinoro), materials concerning Jewish-Christian relations (Yosef Ha-Kohen’s `Emek ha-Bakha, Bull of Pope Sixtus IV, an 1700 court account of church robbery, Process Kryminalny—an example of anti-Jewish polemic from Poland, and Elias Schadeus’ account of preaching to Jews in Strasbourg), texts concerning women (Seder Mizvot Nashim, and letters of Bella Perlhefter), and an account of Jewish social discipline (Samuel Aboab).

These texts, many inaccessible or available only in original languages, have been translated into English and equipped with annotations, and introductory essays by scholars who presented them.

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2004
Monday, August 23rd
5:00 PM

Early Modern Jewries

EMW 2004

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

6:00 PM

Welcome Address at EMW 2004

Magda Teter, Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University

6:00 PM - 6:08 PM

6:09 PM

Keynote Address: Jewish History and World History in the Early Modern Age

Ronnie Po-chia Hsia, Penn State University

Wesleyan University

6:09 PM - 7:00 PM

Tuesday, August 24th
8:01 AM

Elia Schadeus' Mysterium: About the Conversion of the Jews (1592)

Debra Kaplan, Yeshiva University

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

8:01 AM - 9:00 AM

9:00 AM

Jewish legal status in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Adam Teller

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

10:00 AM

Privilege and Statute of Maria Theresia for the Jews of Trieste (1771)

Lois Dubin, Smith College

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

11:15 AM

Introduction to R Hayim Vital and his Treatise Etz Hayim - The Tree of Life [and to] the Sha'ar haHaqdamot - Gate of Principles (1572)

Yosef Hacker, Hebrew University in Jerusalem
Menachem Kallus
Brian Ogren

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

1:15 PM

Popularization of the Kabbalah: Two Early Modern Perspectives

Boaz Huss, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

2:00 PM

Introduction to Triumpho del Govierno Popular

Anne Oravetz Albert, University of Pennsylvania

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

3:00 PM

Sefer Ha-Heshek by Hillel Baal Shem (1739)

Moshe Rosman, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

4:00 PM

Letter from Jerusalem by Obadiah of Bertinoro (1488)

Elliott Horowitz, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

6:00 PM

The Letters of Bella Perlhefter (1674-75)

Elisheva Carlebach, Columbia University

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

6:00 PM

Wednesday, August 25th
9:00 AM

Trent 1475: The Responses of a Pope and a Jewish Chronicler

Kenneth Stow, Haifa University, Israel

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

Anti-Jewish Accusations in Poland: A Medieval or Early Modern Phenomenon?

Magda Teter, Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

10:00 AM - 10:00 AM

11:00 AM

The Order of Women's Commandments Seder Mitzvot Nashim by Benjamin Slonik (1577)

Edward Fram, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

11:00 AM

1:00 PM

The Jewishness of Conversos

Talya Fishman, University of Pennsylvania

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

Records of the Metz Beit Din: Jewish Court Records (1771-1789)

Jay R. Berkovitz, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

2:00 PM

4:00 PM

Sefer Zikhronot-Book of Remembrances by Samuel Aboab (1650)

Bernard D. Cooperman, University of Maryland - College Park

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

4:00 PM