Yeshiva University
Bernard Reval Graduate School

Prof. Joshua Zimmerman
Belfer Hall 520
Office hrs: Tuesdays, 5-6:15
Email: zimmerm@yu.edu

JHIS 5440
Spring 2008
Thursdays, 7:00 pm – 8:40 pm

HISTORY AND CULTURE OF THE JEWS IN EASTERN EUROPE, 1772-1914 

This course examines the political, social, and economic history of East European Jewry from the last years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to the outbreak of the First World War. Topics will include the competing forces of Hassidism and Haskalah, the problems of emancipation, acculturation and assimilation, the rise of official and popular anti-Semitism in Tsarist Russia, and Jewish reactions in the form of Zionism, Socialism and Autonomism. Changing family and social patterns will also be examined, as well as the rise of modern Hebrew and Yiddish literature.

Main Texts

  • Dawidowicz, Lucy. The Golden Tradition: Jewish Life and Thought in Eastern Europe. 1967; reprint, Syracuse University Press, 1996.[ISBN: 0815604238]
  • Hertzberg, Arthur. The Zionist Idea: an Historical Analysis and Reader. New York: Atheneum, 1959; reprint, Syracuse University Pr., 1997. [ISBN: 0827606222]
  • Gershon Hundert. Jews in Poland-Lithuania in the Eighteenth Century . Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004. [ISBN: 0520249941]
  • Zimmerman, Joshua. Poles, Jews and the Politics of Nationality: the Bund and the Polish Socialist Party in Late Tsarist Russia, 1892-1914. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004. [0-299-19464-7 Paper]

All readings (including main texts) are on reserve at the library or distributed in class. Please bring the appropriate source book to each class.

Course Requirements

There will be (1) one 20-page research paper and (2) a final exam. Class attendance and participation will also be assessed in determining the final grade.

Course Outline

PART I: Creation of Four Jewries - Problems of Emancipation, Acculturation and Assimilation, 1772-1881.

Week 1 (Jan. 31): General Introduction: the Jews in Pre-Partition Poland. 

Week 2 (Feb. 7): Jews in the Last Years of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1772-1795. 

  • Gershon Hundert, Jews in Poland-Lithuania, chs. 1-2, 4 and 10.
  • Jacob Goldberg, "The Changes in the Attitude of Polish Society toward the Jews in the Eighteenth Century," in From Shtetl to Socialism, pp. 50-64. (also in POLIN vol. 1, pp. 35-48).
  • Recommended: Artur Eisenbach, The Emancipation of the Jews in Poland, 1780-1870, (Oxford, 1991), chs. 1-2.

Week 3 (Feb. 14): The Emergence of "Russian" Jewry, 1772-1825. 

  • D. Fishman, Russia's First Modern Jews: the Jews of Shklov (New York, 1996), pp.1-21, 80-100.
  • Hundert, Jews in Poland-Lithuania, ch. 8-9.
  • Dawidowicz, The Golden Tradition, pp. 14-38.
  • Sources: The Jews in the Modern World, pp. 375-76, 387-90.
  • Recommended: J. Katz, Tradition and Crisis (1958; New York, 1993), pp. 202-225.

Week 4 (Feb. 21): Russian Jewry under Czar Nicholas I, 1825-1855. 

  • Michael Stanislawski, Tsar Nicholas I and the Jews. The Transformation of Jewish Society in Russia 1825-1855 (Philadelphia, 1983), pp. 13-122.
  • Sources: The Jew in the Modern World, pp. 377-79, 383.
  • Dawidowicz, The Golden Tradition, pp. 148-168.
  • Recommended: L. Greenberg, The Jews in Russia, I: pp. 22-55, 73-100, 119-129.

Week 5 (Feb. 28): Russian Jewry under Czar Alexander II, 1855-1881. 

  • Stanislawski, Michael. "For Whom do I Toil?" Judah Leib Gordon and the Crisis of Russian Jewry (New York, 1988).
  • Eli Lederhendler, The Road to Modern Jewish Politics, pp. 111-53.
  • Sources: The Jew in the Modern World, pp. 381-86, 400-404.

Week 6 (Mar. 6): Jews in the Congress Kingdom of Poland to 1863. 

  • Antony Polonsky, "Foreword: Artur Eisenbach and Polish-Jewish History," in Artur Eisenbach, The Emancipation of the Jews in Poland, xiii-xxvii.
  • Antony Polonsky, "The Warsaw Rabbinical School: Agency of National Integration in the Kingdom of Poland." Unpublished paper.
  • Theodore Weeks, "The Best of Both Worlds: Creating the 'Zyd-Polak'", East European Jewish Affairs 34, no. 2 (2004): 1-20.
  • Recommended: Bartoszewski and Polonsky (eds.), The Jews in Warsaw (Oxford, 1991), chs. 6-7.
    Polonsky, ed., From Shtetl to Socialism, pp. 83-102.

Week 7 (Mar. 13): The Jews in Austrian Galicia down to 1867. 

Thursday, March 20th: Fast of Esther – no class

  • McCagg, W, A History of Habsburg Jews, 1670-1918 (Bloomington, 1983), ch. 7.
  • Israel Bartal and Antony Polonsky, "Introduction - The Jews of Galicia under the Habsburg," Polin 12: 2-24.
  • John-Paul Himka, "Dimensions of a Triangle: Polish-Ukrainian-Jewish Relationship in Austrian Galicia," Polin 12: 25-48.
  • Recommended: Eisenbach, The Emancipation of the Jews in Poland (use the index).
PART II: Rise of the New Jewish Politics, 1881-1914.

Week 8 (Mar. 27): Pogroms, Hibat Tziyon and Mass Flight: 1881. 

  • J. Frankel, "The Crisis of 1881-1882 as a Turning Point in Modern Jewish History," in The Legacy of Jewish Migration: 1881 and its Impact (New York, 1983): 9-22.
  • Shlomo Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism (New York, 1981), chs. 5-8.
  • Sources: The Zionist Idea, pp. 148-157, 167-198.
  • Recommended: J. Frankel, Prophecy and Politics: Socialism, Nationalism and the Russian Jews, 1862-1917 (Cambridge, 1981), ch. 2.

Week 9 (April 3): Jewish Reactions (I): Russian Zionism 

  • Ezra Mendelsohn, On Modern Jewish Politics, pp. 3-36.
  • Shlomo Avineri, The Making of Modern Zionism, chs. 9-11.
  • Sources: The Zionist Idea, pp. 204-230, 235-245, 262-277, 333-350
  • Ahad Ha'Am, Selected Essays (Philadelphia, 1912), pp. 171-194.

Week 10 (Wed., Apr. 9): Jewish Reactions (II): Diaspora Nationalism – Autonomism 

Wednesday follows a Thursday schedule

  • Sources: Shimon Dubnow, Nationalism and History: Essays on Old and New Judaism (Philadelphia, 1958), pp. 76-116, 131-142, 182-191.

Week 11 (Thurs., April 10): Jewish Reactions (III): Diaspora Nationalism – Jewish Socialism (Bund). 

Thurs., April 17 to April 28: Passover vacation – no classes

  • Zimmerman, Poles, Jews and the Politics of Nationality (Madison, 2004), ch. 1-5.
  • Sources: The Jew in the Modern World, pp. 419-422.
  • Dawidowicz, The Golden Tradition, pp. 411-441.
  • Recommended: Jonathan Frankel, Prophecy and Politics: Socialism, Nationalism and the Russian Jews 1862-1917 (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 171-227.

Week 12 (May 1): Galician Jewry After Emancipation, 1867-1914. 

  • Józef Buzek, "The Consequences of Galician Autonomy after 1867 for Jews, Poles and Ukrainians," Polin 12: 86-99.
  • McCagg, W, A History of Habsburg Jews, 1670-1918 (Bloomington, 1983), ch. 11.
  • Ezra Mendelsohn, "Jewish Assimilation in L'viv. The Case of Wilhelm Feldman," in Andrei Markovits and Frank Sysyn, Nation Building and the Politics of Nationalism: Essays on Austrian Galicia (Cambridge, MA, 1982).

Week 13 (May 8): Politics of the Jewish Question (I): Polish-Jewish Relations in the Last Years of the Tsarist Empire, 1863-1905 

  • Theodore Weeks, "The best of both worlds: creating the 'Zyd-Polak'," East European Jewish Affairs 34, no. 2 (2004): 1-20.
  • Theordore Weeks, "The 'international Jewish conspiracy' reaches Poland: Teodor Jeske-Choinski and his works," East European Quarterly 31, no. 1 (1997): 21-41.
  • Dawidowicz, The Golden Tradition, pp. 49-75.
  • Stephen Corrsin, Warsaw Before the First World War, pp. 78-106.
  • Week 14 (Tuesday, May 13): Politics of the Jewish Question (II): Polish-Jewish Relations in the Last Years of the Tsarist Empire, 1905-1914 and Final Exam review 

    Tuesday follows a Thursday schedule

  • Zimmerman, Poles, Jews and the Politics of Nationality (Madison, 2004), chs. 8-10.
  • Theodore Weeks, "Poles, Jews, and Russians, 1863-1914: the death of the ideal of assimilation in the Kingdom of Poland," Polin 12 (1999): 242-256
  • Theodore Weeks, "Fanning the Flames: Jews in the Warsaw Press, 1905-1912," East European Jewish Affairs 28, no. 2 (1998-1999): 63-81.

Week 15 (May 15): Final Exam  

BOOKS: Philip Longworth. The Making of Eastern Europe. St. Martin's Press, 1997.

REFERENCES:

  • Isaac Levitats. The Jewish Community in Russia, 1772-1844. New York, 1943; reprint, 1970. [DS135 R9 L43]
  • Zvi Halevy. Jewish Schools Under Czarism and Communism. New York: Springer Publishing Co., 1976.
  • C. S. Kazdan. Fun cheder un shkoles biz tzicho. Mexico City: Kultur un Hilf, 1956.
  • Elias Schulman. A History of Jewish Education in the Soviet Union. [A Curriculum Analysis] New York: Ktav, 1976.

Week 8: Traditional Jewish Responses: Later Hasidism, the Musar Movement 

  • The Jew in the Modern World, pp. 316-9.
  • Yosef Salmon, "The Yeshiva of Lida: A Unique Institution of Higher Learning," YIVO Annual 15 (1974), pp. 106-25.
  • Immanuel Etkes, Rabbi Israel Salanter and the Mussar Movement, (Philadelphia, 1993).

Recommended:

  • Harry M. Rabinowicz, The World of Hasidism (London, 1970).
  • Arthur Green, Tormented Master: A Life of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (Alabama, 1979).
  • Louis Ginzberg, "Israel Salanter," in Students, Scholars, and Saints (Philadelphia, 1928).

Week 9: Women in Jewish Eastern Europe 

  • David Biale, Eros and the Jews (New York, 1992), chs. 6-7.
  • †David Biale, "Eros and Enlightenment: Love against Marriage in the East European Jewish Enlightenment," in From Shtetl to Socialism, pp. 168-86, (from POLIN, vol. 1.)
  • †Shaul Stampfer, "Gender Differentiation and Education of the Jewish Woman in Nineteenth-Century Eastern Europe," in From Shtetl to Socialism, pp. 168-86, (from POLIN, vol. 7)
  • †Yitshak Leibush Perets, "The Outcast," in Stories and Pictures (Philadelphia, 1906), pp. 307-10.

Recommended:

  • Chava Weissler, "The Traditional Piety of Ashkenazic Women," in Arthur Green (ed.), Jewish Spirituality (New York, 1987), vol. 2, pp. 245-75.
  • Chava Weissler, "'For Women and for Men Who Are Like Women'": The Construction of Gender in Yiddish Devotional Literature," Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 5, no. 2 (Fall 1989), pp. 7-24.
  • Jacob Katz, "Jewish Marriage in Eighteenth Century Poland," POLIN, vol. 10, pp. 3-39.
  • Ruth Adler, Women of the Shtetl through the eyes of Y. L. Peretz, (New York, 1980), pp. 7-119.

Week 14:The Rise of Jewish Mass Culture (II): Music, Theater, the Press. 

  • Nahma Sandrow, Vagabond Stars: A World History of the Yiddish Theater (New York, 1975), chs. 1 and 3.
  • Dawidowicz, The Golden Tradition, pp. 321-26 (Goldfaden), and pp. 305-13 (Ansky).
  • Michael Steinlauf, "The Polish-Jewish Daily Press," in From Shtetl to Socialism, pp. 332-6, (from POLIN, vol. 2).
  • Michael Steinlauf, "Mr Geldhab and Sambo in peyes. Images of the Jew on the Polish Stage 1863-1905," POLIN, vol. 4, pp 98-128.
  • Mark Kiel, "The Centrality of Peretz in Jewish Folkloristics," POLIN, vol. 7, pp. 88-121.