German Jews and the University, 1678-1848
Title Details

304 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Series: Dialogue and Disjunction: Studies in Jewish German Literature, Culture & Thought

Series Vol. Number: 9

Imprint: Camden House

German Jews and the University, 1678-1848

by Monika Richarz

Translated by Joydeep Bagchee

Foreword by Shmuel Feiner

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Traces the gradual opening of university education in Germany to Jews, its significance for assimilation to the bourgeoisie, and the legal restrictions that nonetheless barred Jewish graduates from most professional careers.
For centuries Jews in Germany were denied full rights and excluded from gentile society. At the same time, Jewish law restricted scholarship to exegesis of the Talmud. But from the late seventeenth century onward, as German universities progressively opened their doors to them, many Jews turned toward university studies. This process accelerated around 1800 once education (Bildung) assumed a central role for social ascent among the so-called Bildungsbürgertum (cultural bourgeoisie). Many Jews sought to benefit from the professional and social opportunities that university attendance enabled, but they soon discovered that while the state encouraged education as a means of the "moral improvement" of the Jews, it was unwilling to concede them the right to professional careers. Alienated from their ancestral religion and unwilling or unable to return to trading occupations, academized Jews often found themselves leading precarious existences. Many joined the struggle for emancipation or took up the reform of Judaism. Now available in English translation for the first time, Monika Richarz's classic study addresses the far-reaching transformation of German Jewry under the impact of university education. It traces the secularization of Jewish education, the significance of academic education for social assimilation, and the loss of Jewish solidarity with increasing acculturation and emancipation.
Foreword to the English Edition

Foreword to the German Edition

Preface to the German Edition

Translator's Note

List of Abbreviations

1: Jewish Education in the Enlightenment Era

2: Jewish Encounters with the University before Emancipation

3: Jewish Students in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

4: The Social Situation of Jewish Students in the pre-1848 Era

5: The Professional Experience of Jewish University Graduates

Conclusion

Documents

Bibliography

Index

MONIKA RICHARZ retired in 2001 as Professor and Director of the Institute for the History of German Jews, University of Hamburg.

JOYDEEP BAGCHEE is a Berlin-based scholar, author, and translator. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research.

"Monika Richarz's in-depth study of Jewish students in German universities has long been required reading for scholars of German-Jewish history. That it is now being made available in the English language is a most welcome development. The author's thorough research and insightful presentation will inform and impress widening circles of grateful new readers." Michael A. Meyer, Adolph S. Ochs Professor Emeritus of Jewish History, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
"Monika Richarz's pioneering study of Jews' entry into the German universities reveals important dimensions of German and German-Jewish history. Her scrupulously researched monograph illuminates essential social and cultural ambiguities and tensions. All students of modern Jewish history will benefit from this English translation." David Sorkin, Lucy G. Moses Professor of History, Yale University

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Title Details

304 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Series: Dialogue and Disjunction: Studies in Jewish German Literature, Culture & Thought

Series Vol. Number: 9

Imprint: Camden House