Jewish Studies

Key titles to add to your Littman Library collection

Founded by Louis Littman in memory of his father to explore, explain, and perpetuate the Jewish heritage, the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization published its first book in 1965. It has gone on to publish many highly regarded titles and has established a reputation as one of the world’s leading publishers in the field.

To celebrate #LUP120, we’ve been focusing on Jewish studies and our work with the Littman Library. Below are some key books from our partner to add to your collection!

must a

Must A Jew Believe Anything? by Menachem Kellner

The crucial question for today’s Jewish world, Kellner argues, is not whether Jews will have Jewish grandchildren, but how many different sorts of mutually exclusive Judaisms those grandchildren will face. This accessible book examines how the split that threatens the Jewish future can be avoided. For this second edition, the author has added a substantial Afterword, reviewing his thinking on the subject and addressing the reactions to the original edition.

changing

Changing the Immutable: How Orthodox Judaism Rewrites Its History by Marc B. Shapiro

A consideration of how segments of Orthodox society rewrite the past by eliminating that which does not fit in with their world-view. This wide-ranging and original review of how this policy is applied in practice adds a new perspective to Jewish intellectual history and to the understanding of the contemporary Jewish world.

hadass

Hadassah: American Women Zionists and the Rebirth of Israel by Mira Katzburg-Yungman

Hadassah is the largest Zionist organization in the Diaspora, the largest and most active women’s organization in Jewish history, and the largest women’s organization in the United States. The history of Hadassah is inseparable from the history of American Jewry and of the State of Israel; this is an extensive, diverse, and balanced contribution to both those areas as well as to the history of Jewish women.

Jewish Cultural Studies series

Under the general editorship of Simon Bronner, the Jewish Cultural Studies series offers a contemporary view of Jewish culture as it has been constructed, symbolized, produced, communicated, and consumed around the globe. The first in the series Jewishness: Expression, Identity and Representation examines the idea of Jewishness with provocative interpretations of Jewish experience, and fresh approaches to the understanding of Jewish cultural expressions. Most recently published was
Connected Jews: Expressions of Community in Analogue and Digital Culture, edited by Simon J. Bronner and Caspar Battegay. These essays consider how different media shape actions and project anxieties, conflicts, and emotions, and how Jews and Jewish institutions harness, tolerate, or resist media to create their ethnic and religious social belonging.

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Rediscovering Traces of Memory by Jonathan Webber, and photographed by Chris Schwarz and Jason Francisco

This much-updated second edition of a ground-breaking book expands the broad coverage of its stimulating approach. With forty-five new photographs and accompanying essays, it convincingly demonstrates the complexity of the Jewish past in Polish Galicia and the attempts to memorialize its heritage, as well as the unexpected revival of Jewish life.

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Hasidic Studies: Essays in History and Gender by Ada Rapoport-Albert, with an introduction by Moshe Rosman

Ada Rapoport-Albert has been a key partner in the profound transformation of the history of hasidism that has taken shape over the past few decades. The essays in this volume show the erudition and creativity of her contribution. Written over a period of forty years, they have been updated with regard to significant detail and to take account of important works of scholarship written after they were originally published.

jews

The Jews in Poland and Russia: A Short History by Antony Polonsky

This first volume of a three-volume series begins with an overview of Jewish life in Poland and Lithuania down to the mid-eighteenth century, including social, economic, and religious history. The period from 1764 to 1881 is covered in more detail, with attention focused on developments in each country in turn.

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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry series

Established in 1986 by the Institute for Polish—Jewish Studies, Polin has acquired a well-deserved reputation for publishing authoritative material on all aspects of Polish Jewry. Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32 will be publishing later this year and will consider cantorial and religious music; Jews in popular culture; Jews in the classical music scene; the Holocaust reflected in Jewish music; and klezmer in Poland today.

worldrels

Jewish Theology and World Religions by Alon Goshen Gottstein and Eugene Korn 

The contributors to this volume represent a range of disciplines and denominations within Judaism and share the conviction that articulating contemporary Jewish views of other world religions is an urgent objective for Judaism. Their essays show why a Jewish theology of world religions is a priority for Jewish thinkers and educators concerned with reinvigorating Judaism’s contribution to the contemporary world and maintaining Jewish identity and continuity.

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Ideology and Experience: Antisemitism in France at the Time of the Dreyfus Affair by Stephen Wilson

This analysis of racism in late 19th-century France views the subject not in isolation, but in its social context, as an indicator and symptom of social change. It also provides general analysis of anti-Semitic ideology in France, and of the Jewish response to this challenge.

For more information about any of the above books, please visit the Liverpool University Press website.

 

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Jewish Studies, Uncategorized

Jewish Education in Eastern Europe – 5 minutes with Eliyana Adler

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 30, Jewish Education in Eastern Europe edited by Eliyana R. Adler and Antony Polonsky is the most recent addition to the esteemed Polin series. As part of Jewish Book Week, Eliyana Adler discusses the importance of the study of education and what we can expect from this groundbreaking new volume.  

Over the years, Polin has provided a forum for exploring a host of aspects of East European Jewish history. I am gratified to be able to add education to that list. It never ceases to surprise me that there is not more curiosity about education in the past and present. It is, after all, so fundamental to our lives and our society. This collection of essays helps us to think about the diversity of educational options available to Jewish children, as well as what that education meant to them and to the societies in which they lived.

The volume is organized chronologically and geographically, with contributions about Jews in schools in the Russian empire, in Hungary, and in Poland. By far the greatest concentration focuses on interwar Poland. The scholars in this section examine Yiddish schools, Orthodox schools, youth groups, and the experiences of Jews in Polish schools. Most of them make use of the remarkable collection of autobiographies young Polish Jews submitted to a series of contests sponsored by the YIVO in the 1930s.

Until the recent publication of selected anthologies of these autobiographies in Polish, Hebrew, and English, this was a relatively unknown source. Authors in the volume, making use of the anthologies as well as the complete archived collection, demonstrate the results of creative and sustained engagement with the youthful writings.

Although their topics and sources are related, this does not lead to overlap or repetition. On the contrary, the authors’ varied research approaches yield complimentary results that inspire further questions. For example, Ido Bassok notes the ways in which political youth groups took the place of religious affiliations while Naomi Seidman suggests that Orthodox youth groups incorporated many organizational techniques from their political counterparts. Sean Martin’s study of the development of Jewish religion classes in Polish schools provides a fascinating counterpart to Kamil Kijel’s exploration of the effects of exclusive and nationalist rhetoric on Jewish children in Polish schools.

The questions of pedagogy, school choice, educational ambitions, identity proliferation, financial constraints, and integration that animate these autobiographies, as well as the essays about them, should sound familiar to contemporary readers. Although interwar Poland was very different from the world in which we live, the intensity of aspirations makes it compelling and accessible.

In addition to the more obvious ties of period and place, a number of themes crisscross the volume as a whole. Several of the authors, for example, explore textbooks as historical sources. Daniel Viragh’s essay about modern Hungarian children’s books covers very different material from Vassili Schedrin’s study of Jewish history texts in Russia, but both showcase the benefits of probing this unique source base.

Others look at the way that wars impact upon educational institutions. While some of the essays look at political influences on Jewish education, others pay attention to religious trends. Two of the essays also contain rare photographs from late imperial Russia.

Some readers will pick up this volume out of a general interest in the history of Jewish education. Others may open it initially in order to read one particular essay related to their own research interests. We hope that they will all find themselves drawn to leaf through other essays on topics they had not even considered previously. It is also our hope that the volume will inspire further research and writing about aspects of Jewish education in the past.

 

Eliyana R. Adler is an associate professor in history and Jewish studies at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of In Her Hands: The Education of Jewish Girls in Tsarist Russia (2011) and articles on the history of Jewish education. Her co-editor, Antony Polonsky, is professor emeritus of Holocaust studies at Brandeis University

 

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Jewish Studies, News

What’s Next for The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization and LUP?

Liverpool University Press is delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization. We asked Connie Webber, Managing Editor at the Library, to tell us more about the Library and its plans for the future.

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization was founded in 1965 by Louis Littman, in memory of his father, how has the press grown and developed since its establishment?

Louis Littman founded the Library as a charitable endeavour and a true act of love. He had no knowledge of publishing but was strongly committed to the task he set himself, and he worked tirelessly to achieve his aim. For some twenty-two years, until his untimely death in 1987, he personally approached authors to write for him on the subjects he considered important, and took an interest in how the research and writing progressed. He was very much a gentleman publisher, and in many ways he was a pioneer-before he established his Library there was very little publishing of academic books in Jewish studies; indeed there was very little academic Jewish studies! It was partly due to him that the field grew as it did. In the thirty years since Louis Littman’s death, the Library has developed beyond his wildest dreams: now publishing up to ten books a year for a readership spread around the world, it has come to be recognized as a leader in the publication of academic books in Jewish studies, even though the field itself has grown very considerably in the meantime.  Its prestige is due not only to the reputation of its authors but also to the professionalism of its editorial, design, and production team, who are unstinting in their efforts to produce first-class books. Through a charitable foundation, the Littman family continues to make it possible to invest significant resources into all stages of the publishing process, including the translation of important works of scholarship from other languages. Littman’s success has been due to a combination of vision and a dedication to quality, coupled with the availability of funding to make it all possible.

What do you look for in a new book project?

Following the guidelines laid down by Louis Littman, we aim to publish works that will stand the test of time and be considered definitive in their area. We seek solidly based research that offers new insights while being accessible to the educated non-specialist as well as to scholars, and to non-Jews as well as to Jews. All proposals are carefully peer-reviewed to ensure that each book makes a real contribution to the field. Positive reviews, awards, and professional accolades all attest to the success of the endeavour.

 Do you have any particular favourites from the Littman series? Are there any books on the list that you would recommend to someone encountering the series for the first time?

It’s very difficult for me to choose favourites from the list. It’s a list that has built up over fifty years, covering a very wide range of subjects. Similarly it’s not easy to recommend where one should start. The Littman Library is a veritable treasure trove: it’s a question of what one is interested in. There are books on liturgy, history, philosophy, mysticism, and theology; on women’s studies, cultural studies, and art history; on the Sephardi world and the Ashkenazi world (including the annual Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, with 29 volumes published to date); there are biographies and works of literature, including translations of classic works.

Finally, The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization was founded with the mission to explore, explain, and perpetuate the Jewish heritage, how can the partnership with Liverpool University Press help to further the success of this mission?

Our decision to partner with Liverpool University Press stemmed from the conviction that this partnership would give us access to a much wider market, thanks to their experienced sales and marketing team, and particularly to the various electronic marketing platforms on offer for print editions. Another major factor is sure to be the new Littman E-Library, making our books available for the first time in digital form. That was a long-cherished hope of ours, but something that was beyond our ability to achieve on our own. We were impressed by LUP’s dedicated, experienced, and enthusiastic team, and by the accolades they have received from the industry. We feel confident that we will work well together towards a long, fruitful, and mutually beneficial partnership.

To welcome the arrival of Littman at Liverpool University Press, we are offering 40% off all available titles from 6th-10th March. Use code WELCOMELITTMAN on our website.

 

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