Central European
Jewish Communities
in the Toleration and Emancipation Period

24–25 May 2023, Olomouc

Jewish community (קהילה, kehillah) represents the core of Jewish society. Although it lost much of its autonomy in the Habsburg monarchy as a result of Joseph II’s Enlightenment reforms, Jewish community still represented the most important institution that brought local Jewish society together. As a result of equal rights being granted to Jews in the mid-19th century, Jewish communities were – with few exceptions – given autonomy only in the religious sphere. While in the toleration period (1781–1848), Jewish community provided a space for the formation of an ethnic, religious, cultural and, to some extent, linguistic identity, in the emancipation period (1848–1938), Jews had to seek and realize non-religious identities in institutions other than Jewish religious community.

The conference focuses on the chronological transformation and territorial diversity of the functions of Jewish communities, and on cooperative efforts between Jewish communities within regional and supra-regional associations. There is also a place for papers dealing with individual institutions operated by Jewish communities. Last but not least, the conference focuses on social plurality within Jewish communities, especially on associations that complemented or directly competed with the activities of Jewish communities.

The conference will be held on 24–25 May 2023 in Olomouc at Palacký University.







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