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16th World Congress of Jewish Studies – Jewish Genealogy

On July 28, 2013, the Institute sponsored a panel on Jewish Genealogy at the Sixteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, organised by the World Union of Jewish Studies (WUJS) in Jerusalem.

This event followed the precedent set at 16th World Congress of Jewish Studies in August 2009, when for the first ever a panel wholly devoted to Jewish genealogy was offered at a WUJS Congress. It was followed by another ground-breaking event – a brain-storming session, attended by some 25 academics, on possible directions for academic research in Jewish Genealogy. The panel and the brainstorming were part of the Institute’s ongoing efforts to have Jewish Genealogy recognised as a sub-branch of Jewish Studies.

The moderator of both events was Dr. Michael Silber (Hebrew University). The opening speaker at the brain-storming session was Prof. Israel Bartal (also Hebrew University).

The panellists and their papers were:

i.   Dr. Yehudit Kalik – “Rural Jewish Population of Minsk Gubernya, 1795–1914: a project report”.

Dr. Kalik reported on her pioneering project examining the lives and lineages of “Village Jews” in the Pale of Settlement during the 19th century, Jews whose environment and experience were demonstrably different from those of “Shtetl Jews”.

Click here for Dr. Kalik’s paper.

ii.  Dr. Erzsébet Mislovics, University of Budapest, Hungary – “Family models of Munk and Goldzieher Families”.

Drs. Mislovics  and Hecht both dealt with acculturation and social mobility among Jews in the Autro-Hungatian Empire, but from different perspectives. Mislovics conducted a prosopographic study of the leading Munk and Goldzieher families, which allowed her to propose and test models for the prominent families whose group the Munks and Goldziehers represent. Hecht’s work focused on mobility and modernisation of elite families through the transfer of goods and culture via family economic networks.

Click here for Dr. Mislovics’ paper.

iii.  Dr. Louise Hecht, University of Olomouc, Czech Republic  – “Jewish families and the tobacco monopoly in the Habsburg Monarchy”.

Click here for Dr. Hecht’s paper.

iv. Prof. Aaron Demsky, Professor Emeritus, Bar Ilan University – “The Names Sara and Israel from the Holocaust”.

Prof. Demsky illustrated an ancillary branch of Jewish Genealogy, onomastics, by discussing the imposition by the Nazis of Jewish names, primarily Sara and Israel, on German and other Jews during the Holocaust.

Click here for a summary of Prof Demsky’s paper.

Click here for a PowerPoint presentation of Prof Demsky’s paper.