Rebuilding Judaism: Constructing the Urban Synagogue in Nineteenth-Century Central Europe (Seminar / Conference)
Prof. Samuel Kessler, Postdoctoral Fellow in Judaic Studies, will be offering a presentation on his current research.
This talk focuses on the construction of monumental communal synagogues in a handful of nineteenth-century European cities. Jewish communities founded these buildings in already changing districts - parts of the (sub)urban landscape in which city governments were more amenable to large shifts in demographic and social character. These synagogues represented a significant investment of communal resources, both financial and religious, and quickly came to embody an idea of Jewish permanence in European modernity. Our discussion will integrate an analysis of historic demographics and politics with shifting religious and ideological visions of modern urban Judaism.