Academic Year 2010-2011
Elisheva Carlebach is Salo W. Baron Professor of Jewish History, Culture, and Society in the Department of History at Columbia University. She has served as a fellow in the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers, and has held National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships twice. She is Chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History; Secretary of the American Academy for Jewish Research; Chair, Doctoral Fellowship Awards Program at the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and co-editor of AJS Review.
She specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of the Jews in Early Modern Western Europe, and is the author of The Pursuit of Heresy: Rabbi Moses Hagiz and the Sabbatian Controversies. (Columbia University Press: New York, 1990) winner of the Salo Baron Prize and the National Jewish Book Award, Divided Souls: Jewish Converts to Christianity in Early Modern German Lands, 1550-1750 (Yale University Press, 2001), and Palaces of Time: Jewish Calendar and Culture in Early Modern Europe (forthcoming, Harvard University Press, 2010/11).
Cities within Cities: Jewish Communal
Structure and Governance in Early Modern Europe
My project will look at the distinctive features of Jewish communal governance in the early modern period. It will examine the increasing conflict between the concepts and institutions of Jewish autonomy on the one hand, and the impact of centralizing states, mercantilist economies, and emerging religious pluralism on the other. The last attempt at a scholarly synthesis of the Jewish community and its institutions was Salo Baron’s The Jewish Community, which argued for continuity of structure from ancient through early modern times. Recent scholarship and an ever expanding body of primary sources will form the basis of a new consideration of this essential feature of Jewish life prior to civil emancipation.