Twenty events were held over the last 12 months in various European cities and in Israel to raise awareness of Judaica Europeana among its target audiences. A few of the highlights:
Jewish urban studies at the EAJS Congress
At Judaica Europeana’s instigation, a session on Jewish urban studies was held in July in Ravenna at the IX Congress of the European Association of Jewish Studies. This was the first time urban studies were given special attention at the EAJS Congress. Judaica partners presented papers based on documents in their collections.
Rachel Heuberger spoke about Jewish philanthropy in 19th century Frankfurt. She stressed the early professionalism which characterised the philanthropic activities of the city’s prominent bankers, entrepreneurs and merchants such as the Rothschilds, Hallgarten, Speyer and Goldschmidt. They played a significant role in the transformation of Frankfurt into a modern civic society through their support for charitable organisations as well as cultural and scientific institutions.
Jean-Claude Kuperminc presented a paper on the role of the Ecole normale israélite orientale in Paris in shaping the modernization of Oriental Jews. Established in 1870, this teacher training college produced several generations of teachers from remote communities of Greece, Morocco or Syria who, after four years of study and experience of Parisian culture, returned to their home countries to teach in the schools of the Alliance Israélite Universelle.
Zsuzsana Toronyi’s research into the registry of seat-owners of Budapest’s Dohanyi Street synagogue revealed how these weighty volumes, which span over 150 years, can help to reconstruct the past and tell us about the hierarchy and networking in the community. The synagogue seats were a serious investment in property; they were bought and sold, and sometimes even mortgaged. Important Jewish institutions in Pest also owned seats and let them out to community members of good standing.
Digital Humanities workshop
The objective of this Workshop, held also at the EAJS Congress in Ravenna, was to stimulate the use of Judaica Europeana resources by its principal target users – the academic community. The event was chaired by Professor Antony Polonsky of Brandeis University. The programme introduced Jewish studies scholars to the repertoire of digital tools that are available on the Web for research, teaching and dissemination of academic work.
A directory of Digital Resources with links to tools, reports, digital humanities centres, projects and conferences compiled by Dov Winer was published at www.judaica-europeana.eu/digital-resources.html The Workshop presentations can be accessed at www.judaica-europeana.eu/events.html
The Workshop was sponsored by COST Action 32 Open Scholarly Communities on the Web
The EAJS Congress, which gathers Jewish studies scholars from all over Europe, provided an opportunity for the Judaica Europeana’s Academic Advisory Group to meet and discuss selection guidelines, evaluation and dissemination to universities. The Group includes 15 eminent Jewish studies academics and is chaired by Professor Antony Polonsky.
Judaica Europeana at large
A number of important events were held last autumn. In Poznan, Edyta Kurek presented Judaica Europeana at the Polish Digital Libraries annual conference. In Berlin, Rachel Heuberger spoke about the project at the Europeana Germany Conference. In Jerusalem, the 7th EVA-MINERVA Conference on the digitization of cultural heritage featured Judaica Europeana sessions on technology, education and digital collections. The opening session was co-sponsored by the Israel National Library, which has also hosted the 4th Judaica Europeana Partners Meeting. NLI’s Director, Oren Weinberg opened the proceedings, and Lena Stanley-Clamp showed a multimedia presentation to a Jerusalem audience. Professor Shmuel Finer of Bar-Ilan University gave the keynote lecture on the origins of Jewish secularization in 18th century Europe.
In Rome, a presentation of Judaica Europeana by Lena Stanley-Clamp at the conference of the Association of European Jewish Museums (AEJM) was well received and may result in more museums joining the network. In Madrid, Carole Haskel highlighted the Sephardi Jewish heritage in her presentation to the national conference of EuropeanaLocal. In Athens, a seminar for educators on using Judaica Europeana as a resource for teaching about the Holocaust was led by Anastasia Loudarou.
For a full list of events go to