The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, will sponsor a two-day conference challenging the common assumption that organized Jewish political activity began only in recent times. In fact, Jews “entered into history” and became active agents of their own collective destiny even before the birth of socialist or nationalist parties. Starting in the early modern period—from the sixteenth though nineteenth centuries—Jews organized to shape their group relations with outside collectivities. In doing so, they also built institutions of self-governance for themselves.
Speakers from Europe, Israel, and the US will address topics ranging from Jewish consuls and court systems to Jews’ engagement in American elections and the political organization of Orthodoxy.
Conference Organizers: Bernard D. Cooperman (University of Maryland), François Guesnet (University College London), Keila Rachel Manekin (University of Maryland)
Free and open to the public.