Impulses for Europe. Tradition and Modernity of East European Jewry

Anyone who talks about Jewish life and the Jewish heritage cannot ignore Eastern Europe.

The East European Jews are a paragon of frontier crossings, transnationalism, and the transfer of religion, tradition, language, and culture. From the 18th century onwards, most of the world’s Jewish population lived in Eastern Europe. Between 1870 and the First World War, some 3.5 million Jewish emigrants left their homelands, predominantly the Russian Empire and Habsburgruled Galicia. This emigration was the starting point for the founding of new Jewish communities in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, and Palestine. The majority of American Jews are descended from East European Jewry. In Israel, this is the case for more than half of the Jewish population. Some 80 per cent of Jews living in the world today have roots in Eastern Europe.

In September 2008, the Foundation "Rememberance, Responsibility and Future", in cooperation with th Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde (German Association for East European Studies), organized a conference entitled "Impulses for Europe". The conference sought to illustrate that the history and culture of Eastern European Jews are a part of European history and present. A volume with essays on the topic has been published in both German and English.

The English volume can be downloaded on the website of the Foundation"Rememberance, Responsibility and Future".


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