Tonight in Budapest, Hungary

Hello fellow students of Jewish history! Today our exploration of Jewish heritage along the Danube River valley begins in Budapest, home to one of the largest concentrations of Jews at the turn of the 20th century. I’m really thrilled to be together with so many people who share my passion for the amazing story of […]

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The Murdered Piaseczno Rebbe Had No Dynasty. How Did He Build A Huge Modern Following?

This article appeared, in slightly abbreviated form, in today’s Forward. So many colleagues and friends–fellow students of the Rebbe–contributed moving quotations on the Facebook page dedicated to the Rebbe. Laura Adkins’ editorship at the Forward is really great, and the final version is certainly more appropriate for the wider audience. If you would like to […]

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Jewish History Lectures Resume!

The Jews of the Danube Fall 2018 Lecture Series Lectures in Europe: October 2018 Lectures in Brooklyn: November-December 2018 From its headwaters in Germany’s Black Forest to its final destination in the Black Sea, the Danube River flows through ten countries and over ten centuries of Jewish history. Great cities like Vienna and Budapest punctuate […]

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I want ten students.

Hello friends and colleagues: Thank you for your consistent support and enthusiasm. I am delighted that so many people share my passion for Jewish history and thought, and consider it a rare privilege to share my research with you online and in person. I wish you all a blessed New Year of spiritual and material […]

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In Search of the Crypto-Jews of Portugal (What I did over my Summer Vacation)

The invisible yet palpable echo of the crypto-Jewish tradition resonates through Portugal like the far side of a conversation faintly overheard in another person’s cell phone. A rush of sibilants or an exclamation of laughter confirms the reality of the distant interlocutor, even though we do not see her before us. The history of Portugal’s crypto-Jewish community is similarly measured by absences—a mezuzah scar on a doorway, a bolt-hole for a Torah scroll hidden behind a false wall, a disappeared Juderia marked, if at all, by a 21st century plaque.

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