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Marc Saperstein

Brenner, Michael, A Short History of the Jews, translated by Jeremiah Riemer, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2010, xiv + 421 pp., ISBN 978-0-691-14351-4 (German original, Kleine Jüdische Geschichte, 2008).

Brenner, Michael, Prophets of the Past: Interpreters of Jewish History translated by Steven Rendall, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2010, xiii + 301 pp., ISBN 978-0-691-13928-9 (German original, Propheten des Vergangenen, 2006).

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Steven E. Aschheim

George Mosse viewed history as a totality. It should come as no surprise, then, that his vision of the modern Jewish experience was in accordance with this predilection. Just as, for him, the political and the religious, the scientific and the aesthetic realms, were intertwined, deeply co-implicated, he refused to pigeon-hole and separate, or to use one of his favorite terms, “ghettoize” Jewish history and cut it off from the larger European whole. When he arrived in the late 1960s at the Hebrew University, I recall, he rather jolted the more conservative historians there not only because they were aghast at the fact that, already then, George was discussing the history of masturbation in his classes(!), but, more pertinently here, also because he challenged the prevailing ethnocentric bias that Jewish history by definition followed its own unique narrative and immanent laws.

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Steven Beller

Michael Meyer, ed., Michael Brenner, asst. ed., German-Jewish

History in Modern Times, volume 3, Integration in Dispute: 1871-1918;

volume 4, Renewal and Destruction: 1918-1945 (New York: Columbia

University Press, 1997, 1998)

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The Exceptions to the Rule

Jews in Shakespeare’s England

Cynthia Seton-Rogers

encountered the former Protestant converts living openly as practising Jews. 32 Today the most famous Jew from Shakespeare’s England may be the fictional character of Shylock, but this article has shown that there were others. Anglo-Jewish history did not end

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A People between Languages

Toward a Jewish History of Concepts

Guy Miron

The field of modern European Jewish history, as I hope to show, can be of great interest to those who deal with conceptual history in other contexts, just as much as the conceptual historical project may enrich the study of Jewish history. This article illuminates the transformation of the Jewish languages in Eastern Europe-Hebrew and Yiddish-from their complex place in traditional Jewish society to the modern and secular Jewish experience. It presents a few concrete examples for this process during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The article then deals with the adaptation of Central and Western European languages within the internal Jewish discourse in these parts of Europe and presents examples from Germany, France, and Hungary.

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Jonathan Magonet

The preparation for this issue coincided with a conference in London which also served to launch Anthony Polonsky’s important three-volume work The Jews in Poland and Russia. At the meeting he gave a paper which we reproduce here, originally delivered at Harvard, describing his own personal history and how he became engaged in the study of Polish-Jewish history. It serves also as an introduction to the themes of his book.

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Flowers from Palestine

A Chapter from Selma Lagerlöf's Novel Jerusalem and a Book from the Library of the Hochschule Für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg

Margaretha Boockmann

With the founding of the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (HfJS) in 1979 the library of the institution, which currently contains some 50,000 volumes, was also established. Corresponding to the subjects taught at the HfJS, the library contains books on the Bible and Biblical exegesis, Talmud and rabbinic literature, Jewish history, philosophy, literature and art, as well as the several languages that are taught in relationship to these subjects.

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Phyllis Cohen Albert and Alex Sagan

George L. Mosse died on January 22, 1999, leaving a legacy of scholarly innovation in the study of European, German, and German-Jewish history. The memorial symposium of October 1, 1999 that produced the following articles brought together some of the many students, colleagues, and friends who were deeply influenced by Mosse’s life and work. They offered reflections on his contributions as researcher, author, teacher, and friend.

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Zohar Segev

This article examines American Zionist leaders' positions on the Jerusalem issue, taking into consideration that from the 1920s until 1948, they acted within the Zionist movement as an independent political force that sought to play an active role in shaping the Yishuv and the State of Israel according to their own worldview. Their position on Jerusalem included recognition of its significance in Jewish history and the necessity of consolidating Jewish nationalism in Palestine. Yet they demonstrated a clear preference for social and economic patterns that, they maintained, had consolidated in Tel Aviv as a counterbalance to Jerusalem.

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Efraim Inbar and Ian S. Lustick

A Debate between Efraim Inbar and Ian S. Lustick

Time is on Israel's Side Efraim Inbar

From a realpolitik perspective, the balance of power between Israel and its neighbors is the critical variable in the quest for survival in a bad neighborhood. If Israel’s position is improving over time and the power differential between the Jewish State and its foes is growing, then its capacity to overcome regional security challenges is assured. Moreover, under such circumstances there is less need to make concessions to weaker parties that are in no position to exact a high price from Israel for holding on to important security and national assets such as the Golan Heights, the settlement blocs close to the “Green Line,” the Jordan Rift, and particularly Jerusalem.

With a Bang or a Whimper, Time Is Running Out Ian S. Lustick

Israel’s existence in the Middle East is fundamentally precarious. Twentieth- century Zionism and Israeli statehood is but a brief moment in Jewish history. There is nothing more regular in Jewish history and myth than Jews “returning” to the Land of Israel to build a collective life—nothing more regular, that is, except, for Jews leaving the country and abandoning the project. Abraham came from Mesopotamia, then left for Egypt. Jacob left for Hauran, then returned, then left with his sons for Egypt. The Israelites subsequently left Egypt with Moses and Joshua, and “returned” to the Land. Upper class Jews who did not leave with the Assyrians left with Jeremiah for Babylon, then returned with Ezra and Nehemiah.