Friday, March 12, 2010

Coffee is yofi, but liquor is quicker.

(apologies to Ogden Nash and the Hebrew language)

Of course, I am speaking about lectures on the role of these libations in early modern and modern Jewish culture.

Your choice:


Thursday, April 22, 4:00 pm
Jewish Societies and Cultures Seminar, The Harvard Center for the Humanities,
and The Harvard University Center for Jewish Studies present:
"Jews Encounter Coffee in Early Modern Europe"
Robert Liberles, Gerard Weinstock Visiting Professor of Jewish History,
Department of History, Harvard University
Professor of Modern Jewish History at Ben Gurion University, Beersheva, Israel
Harvard University
Harvard Hall, Room 103
Harvard Yard (Near the Johnston Gate)
Cambridge, MA
For the Lecture Poster:


The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research cordially invites you to the next
Ruth Gay Seminar in Jewish Studies
Tuesday March 23, 2010 ..... Meet the Faculty: 6:00 PM......Seminar
begins: 6:30 PM
Address: Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY,
Kovno Room. Refreshments and Meet the Faculty at 6 PM. Seminar at 6:30
PM. ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Call 212-294-6143 or email
Presenter: GLENN DYNNER, Professor of Judaic Studies, Sarah Lawrence
College; author of 'Men of Silk: The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish
Society' (Oxford University Press, 2006).
Moderator and Respondent: MOSHE ROSMAN, Professor of Jewish History,
Bar Ilan University; Horace Goldsmith Visiting Professor of Jewish
Studies, Yale University.
By the end of the 18th century, Jews comprised the vast majority of
tavernkeepers in Poland-Lithuania, leasing taverns and distilleries from
the nobility. According to most historians, Polish Jews were driven out
of the liquor trade over the course of the next century. Yet 19th
century archival sources, including an invaluable collection of personal
petitions (kvitlakh) sent to R. Eliyahu Guttmacher, housed in the YIVO
Archives, provide evidence of the continued existence of Polish Jewish
liquor traders, both open and surreptitious. The continued involvement
of Jews in this sector of the Polish economy points to the fact that
traces of the feudal economic system survived amidst a period of rapid
industrialization and modernization.
While Jewish tavernkeeping was vigorously opposed by powerful groups in
Polish society, one crucial group continued to provide them with cover:
the very local Christians they were accused of victimizing. This talk
analyzes the robust but technically illegal Polish Jewish liquor trade
during the 19th century.
This seminar series is named in honor of the historian and scholar Ruth
Gay (1922-2006) and was made possible thanks to a major gift from the
family of Ruth Gay.

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