Studies in Jewish History

Studies in Jewish History

Studies in Jewish History

Studies in Jewish History

Synopsis

Praeger, in collaboration with the distinguished International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization, Jerusalem, and in association with Israeli's Open University, has undertaken the publication of this multi-volume series. Binah brings together for the first time in English seminal articles in Jewish history, thought, and culture. This landmark series, edited by Joseph Dan and under the general supervision of Moshe Davis, will provide resource materials for students enrolled in courses in Jewish studies, religion, history, literature, sociology, cultural anthropology, and philosophy. Binah includes topics from the Biblical period through the 20th century. Each volume of articles is approximately 300 pages in length. An introduction explains the criteria for selecting the articles and indicates their contribution to Jewish history, thought, and culture. The articles, not previously translated, are adapted from their original Hebrew sources in order to make them more accessible to the undergraduate reader, but the editors have made every effort to remain faithful to the intent of the original authors. Each article is preceded by a statement that indicates the original source, a brief biographical sketch of the author placing the article within the framework of his life-work, and the name of the translator/adaptor. The series is bound in both a hardcover library version and in a loose-leaf fomat, allowing the instructor maximum flexibility in utilizing the materials. By special arrangement, purchasers acquire the right to make copies of the articles for student use. Thus, instructors can virtually build a package of readings for their students.

Excerpt

The studies in Jewish history presented in this collection, originally written and published in Hebrew, have been adapted into English in an attempt to bridge the language gap between the English-speaking student of Jewish civilization and the large group of scholars who write and publish in Hebrew.

When European scholars in the early nineteenth century laid the foundations for the scientific, philological approach to Jewish history and culture, the language used for this modern, scholarly, systematic study was German. Later in the last century, a growing number of Jewish scholars began to publish their studies in Hebrew and in English, establishing new centers for Jewish scholarship in England, the United States, and Eretz Israel. the mass emigration of Jews from Europe to America and Israel encouraged this process in the twentieth century and, after the Holocaust, Israel and the United States emerged as the largest centers of Jewish scholarship.

When the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was founded in 1925, it incorporated the Institute of Jewish Studies that had been founded the previous year to serve as a center for scholarship in Jewish civilization. This institute grew rapidly, and in the last sixty years some of the most prominent scholars in Jewish studies have taught therein. Graduates of the Hebrew University played a major role in the establishment of the other universities in Israel -- in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Haifa, and Beersheva.

Today, Israel has become the major center of Jewish scholarship and publications in the academic world. At the same time, studies in Jewish civilization have assumed a growing role in the life of the vast Jewish community in the United States. in the last generation the importance of these studies has been recognized within the general academic world, and courses in Hebrew and in Jewish civilization are being taught in hundreds of institutions of higher learning in North America and throughout the world.

Thus, two great communities of scholars in Jewish civilization emerged . . .

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