Category Archives: Research

17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, August 6-10, 2017

Tal Kogman and Kerstin von der Krone will present their research in Jerusalem at the 17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, a conference organized by the World Union for Jewish Studies every four years. This year’s congress will take place August 6-10, 2017 at the Mount Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Tal Kogmann will speak about “The Birth of a New Ritual of Childhood: Birthday Celebrations in Ashkenaz in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries” (in Hebrew) as part of session 266, “Jewish Life in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries” on the morning of August 9th. In the afternoon, Kerstin von der Krone will give a talk entitled “Translating Judaism: Jewish Catechisms and Manuals and the Re-Definition of Jewish Religious Knowledge in the 19th Century” (in English) as part of session 398,  “Pedagogic Innovations, Jewish Education and Modern Jewish thought”.

Archive Fellowship for Kerstin von der Krone

Kerstin von der Krone was awarded the The Joseph and Eva R. Dave Fellowship at the The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives  in Cincinnati (OH) for the 2017–2018 academic year.  This fellowship allows her to broaden her research on nineteenth-century Jewish religious education by including American Jewish approaches to education between 1820 and 1880. Based on this new perspective, she is currently re-framing her research project under the title “Educating the ‘Modern’ Jew and the ‘Loyal’ Citizen: Re-Defining Jewish Religious Education in the Nineteenth Century.” The fellowship program at the American Jewish Archives was founded in 1977 and brings together scholars of American Jewish experience to deepen their research and engage in scholarly discussion.

Two new articles by Tal Kogman

Tal Kogman published recently two articles on the role of science and scientific knowledge in eighteenth and nineteenth century Hebrew print culture. Both articles express her continued interest in Jewish scientific education and Jewish scientific culture, as also manifested in her book The ‘Maskilim’ in the Sciences: Jewish Scientific Education in the German-Speaking Sphere in Modern Times (המשכילים במדעים: חינוך יהודי למדעים במרחב דובר הגרמנית בעת החדשה) published by Magnes Press in 2013. These two articles also relate to her current research on traditional and modern values in textbooks and other educational media for Hebrew instruction.

Both articles address the novel character of Hebrew scientific literature and the significant contributions of the Haskalah movement to Jewish attitudes towards science by re-drawing the line between ‘Jewish’ and ‘foreign’ knowledge.

Tal Kogman’s contribution to Jewish Culture and History elaborates on Hebrew science literature between the last third of the eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. Hebrew print culture saw significant changes in this time. The last third of the eighteenth century saw an increase in publications, in part due to efforts of the Haskalah to revive Hebrew as the cultural language of the Jews which found its expression in the establishment of a “Library of the Haskalah“.

In her contribution to the Leo Baeck Institute’s 2017 Yearbook, Tal Kogman discusses rabbinic attitudes toward Hebrew scientific literature based on a thorough examination of Haskamot, or rabbinic approbations. The approach situated Maskilic scientific publication in the broader history of Hebrew print culture and its mechanisms. Haskamot gave legitimacy to Jewish books by means of rabbinic authorities. Approaching Hebrew printing and Maskilic scientific literature through Haskamot offer a unique perspective on the attitude of eighteenth and nineteenth century rabbinic authorities toward science and on the interaction between Rabbis and Maskilic authors.

Tal Kogman, The Emergence of Scientific Literature in Hebrew for Children and Youth in the Nineteenth Century: Preliminary Directions for Research. In: Jewish Culture and History 17 (3) (2016), 249-263.

Tal Kogman, Science and the Rabbis: Haskamot, Haskalah, and the Boundaries of Jewish Knowledge in Scientific Hebrew Literature and Textbooks. In: Leo Baeck Institute Year Book (2017), 1-15.


“Religious Knowledge in Historical Perspective” and a new blog on the History of Knowledge

Kerstin von der Krone just published a short piece on the AHA session entitled  “The Dynamics of Religious Knowledge: Resilience and Innovation in the Face of Modernity,” which she organized jointly with Simone Lässig, on a new blog recently launched by the German Historical Institute (GHI).

The History of Knowledge blog and its associated research project are part of a new focus at the GHI following the appointment of Simone Lässig as director. The blog aims to serve as a venue for the exchange of ideas and information on the history of knowledge and will feature the research of the Innovation through Tradition? group, in particular as this group addresses religious knowledge in historical perspective.

Kerstin von der Krone offers some thoughts on the AHA session:

[su_quote cite=”Kerstin von der Krone @histknowledge” url=”″]My year began with a session at the 131st Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association on “the dynamics of religious knowledge” in the modern era, a panel I organized with Simone Lässig. The three papers—presented by Anthony Steinhoff, Jana Tschurenev, and myself—approached developments in religious knowledge as manifestations of social and cultural change in the long nineteenth century. The studies explored a variety of religious groups in a broad array of historical configurations, from nineteenth-century Jewish religious education to the multireligious setting of Alsace Lorraine after 1870 and anticaste and feminist critiques of Hinduism in colonial India. Simone Lässig served as chair and provided a short introduction on knowledge as an object and category of historical analysis, drawing on her recent article in the Bulletin of the German Historical Institute. David M. Luebke took on the task of commenting on the three case studies from the perspective of an Early Modernist. His thoughtful and inspiring remarks highlighted points at which the three papers intersected.[/su_quote]