Cultural Transitions – Modern Jewish Life between East and West

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A series of lectures held jointly by the Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem and Beit Shalom Aleichem
Beit Shalom Aleichem, Tel Aviv, 2017 – 2018

Academic consultant: Dr. Rachel Livneh-Freudental, Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem

When Judaism encountered modernity the boundaries of tradition were breached in several spheres; territorial borders, the confines of the halakha and the framework of the community were opened up, giving way to social and cultural mobility. This openness facilitated the holding of encounters that had previously been unthinkable – between Jews and gentiles, and between Jews of different regions, countries, cultures and languages.

This lecture series will address the encounters between the Jews of Eastern Europe and the Jews of Central and Western Europe. We shall trace the manifestations of these encounters in the works of Jews from both these cultural spheres, and examine how they found expression in Jewish and Israeli culture.

The series is the product of cooperation between Beit Shalom Aleichem and the Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem, which fosters research into the heritage of German-speaking Jews. It expresses the meeting between the two branches of Ashkenazi Jewry, which had drifted apart over the centuries and now converge in collective memory.

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