Screen shot 2013 05 09 at 8.49.59 pm

Modern Jewish History

  • Period: to

    Effects of European Enlightenment

    The ideas of the Englightenment cause a lot of Jews to doubt their relgion and faith. One clear example is Baruch Spinoza. Due to his questioning he is placed in Cherem where he then defaces it, the Rabbi's main hold on authority, to become an Englightened Secular Jew. In addition, the Englightenment forms the Haskalah movement which then leads to the Chasidim and Misnagdim who came about as a conservative reaction.
  • Spinoza's Rebellion

    Spinoza's Rebellion
    24 years after the observant Sefardic Jew from Amersterdam, Baruch Spinoza, was born, he rebelled against the Rabbinic System of Cherem. When one is put in Cherem they can either repent or convert, however Spinoza did neither. Fed up with the unbase exile that he was placed in, he let go of his ties with his Jewish community by becoming the first secular Jew and he thrived. The rebellion against this Rabbinic System ignited the fuse towards the decline of Rabbinic Authority.
  • Decline of Rabinnic Authority

    Decline of Rabinnic Authority
    After Baruch Spinoza rebels against Cherem the Rabbi's begin to lose authority. They respond harshly in order to maintain authority (conservative reaction). They begin to overuse Cherem which ultimately makes it a non-issue. They also make Halachik ruling stricter. In addtion, they completely change their focus from communal service to services of their own institutions. The whole goal of Yeshivah shifts from producing new leaders to just emphasizing learing in and of itself.
  • Three Major Jewish Groups in Europe

    Three Major Jewish Groups in Europe
    Three major Jewish groups that develop in the 1700s is Hassidim, Misnagdim, and Maskilim. Hassidism is developed by the Baal Shem Tov in order for the Jews living in the Shtelts to get involved in Judaism. The Misnagdim are a group that are very focused on following Halacha to the letter of the law, they are mainly the Rabbinical class. Lastly, the Haskalah movement were followers of the Englightenment/ Spinoza, and were non-observant. Reform Judaism came about from the ideas of the Maskilim.
  • Political Emancipation for Jews in Europe

    Political Emancipation for Jews in Europe
    The idea of Political Emancipation for Jews begins in Western Europe during the French Revolution. The major issue was whether or not Jews would be loyal to France or their own group. Ultimately The Jews were granted emancipation. Then in the 1800s Political Emancipation spread to Eastern Europe, specifically Germany (capitol of Haskalah movement). Therefore the Jews there now had the ability to rewrite Judaism the way they want to, also known as the Reform Movement.
  • Period: to

    Process of Political Emancipation

    The idea of Political Emancipation for Jews originates in France. It then spreads to Germany where the Haskalah movement is at its prime. The Jews then take this opportunity to "rewrite" Judaism the way they want. Even though the Jews are granted emancipation in France, Napolean believes they are not fully assimilated. Therefore he calls the Sanhedrin and asks a series of questions that would cause them to lose old traditions.
  • Jewish Immigration from Europe

    Jewish Immigration from Europe
    The first Jews that arrive in America are the Spainish- Portuguese. Later more Jews from Europe immigrate such as the Germans who arrive in around 1830. Following the Germans is the Eastern European immigrants from the Pale of Settlement in around 1880.
  • Period: to

    Jewish American Experience

    Many Jews begin immigrating from Europe to America in the 19th century and have to live in tenements. These new immigrants help with industrialization. Eventually they begin to feel that they are taken advantage of and they form unions. After all of their hard work to higher their status, they are let down by their children who don't want to maintain their full Jewish identity. In addition, two new types of Judaisms arise as a reaction to Reform Judaism: Conservative and Orthodoxy.
  • Napolean's Sanhedrin

    Napolean's Sanhedrin
    Napolean wishes to unify Europe under one system and to bring the ideals of the French Revolution to the rest of the world. While conquering most of Europe he threatens the Pale of Settlement (a territory created for Jews). He then calls the Grand Sanhedrin for the first time in 1800 years on Shabbat in order to test their loyalty. The Jews are asked questions that they have to answer in a way that causes them to lose old traditions.
  • Tenements

    Due to the great influx of Jewish immigration most Jews are forced to live in tenements. These buildings are very small compared to the amount of people living in them. The conditions are awful and a lot of disease spreads throughout their buildings.
  • Period: to


    There is a group of young Jewish adults who want to build a new nation from scratch. They are the first group to make Aliyah before the term Zionism is created. Zionism comes about from the Kishnev Pogrom. It is the Jewish national movement to achieve self determination. There are four different ideas of how Zionism should be acted out. They are Cultural, Religious, Labor, and Political Zionism.
  • Bilu

    They come from Hungry and are the first Zionist pioneers. They do not talk of Zionism however they perform its idea of a Jewish national movement to achieve self determination.
  • Industrialization

    In addition to America's population increasing they are also going through industrialization. Assembly lines are created which increases the rate and quality of production. Due to the increase of production factories are created.
  • Types of Zionisms

    Types of Zionisms
    Theodore Herzl promotes assimilation as a solution to end persecution. He is disappointed in himself because of the Dryfus case and develops Political Zionism where the Jews safe haven can be anywhere. Labor Zionism, by AD Gordon states that the Jews must reject their past in order to porsper. Another version advocated by Ahad Haam is Cultural Zionism. It focuses on unity and quality of a Jewish homeland. Religious Zionism, by Rav Kook values being a light on to other nations.
  • Kishnev Pogrom

    Kishnev Pogrom
    Under the rule of Nicholas II there is a riot/ killing spree of Jews in Russia. Afterwards the Jews begin to be ashamed of being Jewish and start feeling helpless. This pogrom leads to the idea of Zionism. Zionism begins as a rejection of the way Jews have acted in Europe. They now wish to act in a completely opposite way than they are used to. In addtion, their attitude rejects Rabbinic authority and they decide to begin making their own destiny.
  • Unions

    Although factories and assembly lines are great for industrialization, many workers are unsatisfied. The conditions they are working in are poor, they are paid little, and they often become bored doing the same task continuously. After the Jews are fed up they form unions; where if their demands are not met they quit. In addition women are also treated unfairly. Together they form the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
  • 2nd Generation Jews in America

    2nd Generation Jews in America
    Even though the beginning of the American experience is a challenge it eventually provides opportunity for the Jews. Due to the accomplishments of the first generation Jews the second is now apart of the middle class and are capable of attending universities. The parents put high expectations on their kids because they want to live the American Dream through them. However they are a disappointment to them because they did not follow in what their parents worked so hard for. (ex. Hank Greenberg)
  • Effects of Holocaust in Modern Jewish-American Life

    Effects of Holocaust in Modern Jewish-American Life
    During the time of the Holocaust when many Jews are being tortured and murdered all throughout Europe, the Jews living in America are thriving and raising their status. However during this time they are forced to ask themselves what they can do to help. A result from the holocaust is a reigniting of Jewish activism. Another outcome from the holocaust is the displaced persons/ DP camp. These camps are created from the concentration camps for the refugees of the war.
  • Conservative and Orthodox Movement

    Conservative and Orthodox Movement
    Conservative Judaism aroused in America after the holocaust. It came about as a conservative reaction to Reform Judaism. The creators were part of Reform Judasim but believed it needed to incorporate some ideas from the Rabbi's. Orthodoxy is a step further and they ultimately value Rabbinical authority over both community and the individual.