Tag Archives: Early modern

New book: Poverty and Welfare among the Portuguese Jews in Early Modern Amsterdam

Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld, Poverty and Welfare among the Portuguese Jews in Early Modern Amsterdam (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2012)

The reputed wealth and benevolence of the Portuguese Jews of early modern Amsterdam attracted many poor and impoverished people to the city, both ex-conversos from the Iberian peninsula and Jews from many other countries. In describing the consequences of that migration in terms of demography, admission policy, charitable institutions—public and private—philanthropy and daily life, and the dynamics of the relationship between the rich and the poor, Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld adds a nuanced new dimension to the understanding of Jewish life in the early modern period.

New book: Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life

Laura Arnold Leibman, Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life (Valentine Mitchell Press, 2012)

Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism tells the history of Early American Jews, focusing on the objects of everyday life used and created by Jews, such as ritual baths, food, gravestones, portraits, furniture, as well as the synagogue. By uncovering these objects and exposing the common culture of the Jewish Atlantic world, the book provides a fresh understanding of a crucial era in Jewish and American history.

A companion website contains thousands of photographs of material culture from throughout the Jewish Atlantic world, as well as study guides for using the images; http://cdm.reed.edu/cdm4/jewishatlanticworld/. Continue reading