On Masculinity Among German Jews

Wednesday, 05/05/2021
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On Masculinity Among German Jews
Seventh lecture in the series
1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany
Eyal Levinson and Viola Alianov-Rautenberg
Chair: Shulamit Magnus
Dr. Eyal Levinson’s lecture entitled For my soul longed for you and I have loved you with everlasting love will explore how intimate friendships between two men in medieval Germany’s Jewish community did not represent a threat to existing social norms that encouraged men to marry women and have children, but rather, on the contrary, provided opportunities for self-fulfilment and intellectual development that transcended the scope of heteronormative relationships. These were stable relationships, based on mutual trust and assistance, including on occasion financial support, whose contribution to the individual and to society was recognized.

Dr. Viola Alianov-Rautenberg’s lecture How to be a man in Israel? Body, gender and sexuality among German immigrants in the 1930s will examine the experience of Fritz Wolf (the composer of the musical Nahareida) through the lens of gender. Focusing on Wolf’s first encounter with the Land of Israel – Palestine this lecture will consider the various stages of migration – the journey, arrival, and first year in the new homeland – in order to shed light on the crucial importance of gender in his observations, interactions, and self-perception during this process. The lecture will discuss the changing relationship between the sexes, different concepts of masculinity and femininity, and shifting perceptions of marriage and sexuality within the German immigrant community

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