logorevised.gif (6807 bytes)THE DINUR CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN JEWISH HISTORY
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Silber, Michael K.


Personal: Born 1948, Debrecen (Hungary); Ph.D. 1985, Hebrew Univ.; Lect. 1988; Sen. Lect. 1994.

Dept. of Jewish History, Hebrew University
Address: 28 Shimshon St., Jerusalem, Israel
Tel: (02) 6715-125

E-mail: silber@shum.cc.huji.ac.il

Research Interests: Modern Jewish history, especially in the Habsburg Empire and Hungary: emancipation, assimilation, Haskala, Orthodoxy, economic history, geographic history, nationalism, the Old Yishuv in Eretz Israel.

Higher Education:

1966-70 Depts. of Physics and Mathematics, Yeshiva University BA 1970
1970-71 Dept. of Mathematical Engineering, Columbia University
1971-76 Dept. of Jewish History, Hebrew University
1976-77 Dept. of History, Columbia University MA 1977
1977-85 Dept. of Jewish History, Hebrew University
PhD 1985

Teaching:

1979-1980 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Assistant
1980-1985 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Instructor
1985-1986 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Instructor (with doctorate)
1986-1988 Harvard University Lecturer
1988-1994 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Lecturer
1994- The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Senior Lecturer
1997 Central European University, Summer University Course Director
1998 Central European University, Summer University Course Director

PUBLICATIONS:

Doctoral Dissertation:

"Roots of the Schism in Hungarian Jewry: Cultural and Social Change from Joseph II to the Eve of the 1848 Revolution" (Doctoral dissertation submitted to the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1985)

Book Edited:

Jews in the Hungarian Economy, 1760-1945 (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1992). lx + 302 pp.

Articles:

1). Maps and accompanying text in Evyatar Friesel, Carta's Atlas of Modern Jewish History (Jerusalem: Carta, 1983), maps 21-22, 25-34, 48, pp. 28-29, 31-33, 34-37, 48.

2). "The Historical Experience of German Jewry and its Impact on Haskalah and Reform in Hungary," in Jacob Katz, ed., Toward Modernity: The European Jewish Model (New Brunswick and Oxford: Transaction Books, 1987), pp. 107-157.

3). Maps and accompanying text in Evyatar Friesel, Atlas of Modern Jewish History, Revised from the Hebrew Edition (New York-Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), maps 23-34, 46, pp. 34-41, 50 (also contributed to maps 48 and 51, pp. 52-54, 56.)

4). "The Entrance of Jews into Hungarian Society in Vorm?rz: The Case of the 'Casinos'," in Jonathan Frankel and Steven J. Zipperstein, eds., Assimilation and Community: The Jews in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 284-323.

5). "A zsid?k t?rsadalmi befogad?sa Magyarorzs?gban a reformk?rban," Sz?zadok [Centuries: The Journal of the Hungarian Historical Association]126 (1992), 113-141.

6). "A Jewish Minority in a Backward Economy: an Introduction ," in Michael K. Silber, ed., Jews in the Hungarian Economy, 1760-1945: Studies Dedicated to Moshe Carmilly-Weinberger (Jerusalem: Magnes
Press, 1992), pp. 3-22.

7). "The Emergence of Ultra-Orthodoxy: the Invention of a Tradition," in The Uses of Tradition: Jewish Continuity since Emancipation, ed., Jack Wertheimer (New York-Jerusalem: JTS distributed by
Harvard U. Press, 1992), pp. 23-84.

8). "A Hebrew Heart beats in Hungary: Akiva Yosef Schlesinger-Ultra-Orthodoxy and Early Jewish
Nationalism," (Hebrew) Cathedra (1994), 84-105.

9). "The Limits of Rapprochment: The Anatomy of an Anti-Hasidic Controversy in Hungary" Studia Judaica 3 (1994), 124-147.

10). "The Social Composition of the Pest Radical Reform Society (Genossenschaft fr Reform im Judenthum), 1848-1853," Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, and Society I (1995), 99-128.

11). "A pesti radik?lis reformegylet (Genossenschaft fr Reform im Judenthum) t?rsadalmi ?sszet?tele 1848-1852 k?z?tt," M?lt ?s J?v? X, 1(1998), 125-142.

12). "'There are no Yeshivot in our Country-for Several Good Reasons'" (in Hebrew), in Emanuel Etkes, David Asaf and Joseph Dan, eds., Mehqrei Hasidut: Mugashim lekhavod Mordekhai Wilensky (Jerusalem: Israeli Academy of the Hebrew Language, forthcoming in 1999), ca. 35 p.


Research Projects:

1. A biography of Akiva Yosef Schlesinger (1837-1922). Funding: The Andrew and Pearl Rosenfeld Project for the History of Jews in Hungary and the Habsburg Empire, Ben-Zion Dinur Research Institute for Jewish History, Hebrew University; Basic Research Foundation, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities; Center for Judaic Studies (Annenberg), University of Pennsylvania.

2. A history of Habsburg Jewry, 1780-1870. Funding: The American Council of Learned Societies; Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture (New York); Yad Hanadiv (Rothschild Foundation).

3. Joseph II and the Jews. Funding: American Council of Learned Societies.

4. A historical atlas of Hungarian Jewry, 1700-1920. Funding: The Andrew and Pearl Rosenfeld Project for the History of Jews in Hungary and the Habsburg Empire, Ben-Zion Dinur Research Institute for Jewish History, Hebrew University.

Abstracts of Current Research:

The Hebrew Heart - a biography of Akiva Yosef Schlesinger (1837-1922):

A.Y. Schlesinger played an important role in the religious Kulturkampf in Hungary in the 1860's, becoming one of the founders of ultra-Orthodoxy. In 1870, he immigrated to Palestine where he envisioned an Orthodox utopia with many of the features which were to characterize the future Zionist movement. He also took part in the establishment of the first Jewish agricultural settlement, Petah Tikva, in 1878. The biography treats ideology in its social context, the emergence of ultra-Orthodoxy in Hungary and Messianic Zionism in the Old Yishuv.

Key Words: Jews; Orthodox Judaism; fundamentalism; ultra-Orthodoxy; Jewish nationalism; Zionism; Old Yishuv; Petach Tikva; Messianism; Schlesinger, A.Y., biography; Pressburg, Jewry

A history of Habsburg Jewry, 1780-1870:

This study examines the social and cultural history of the various Jewries of the Habsburg Empire (specifically of Vienna, Bohemia, Moravia, Galicia, and especially Hungary) from the rule of Joseph II until the emancipation. The focus is on the common elements of what were very different Jewries, and on unity and diversity within the Habsburg Empire. Special emphasis will be placed on comparing the various Jewries to each other and Jewries beyond the borders of the Empire.

Key Words: Hungary; Austria; Habsburg; Jews; emancipation; modernization

Joseph II and the Jews:

Widespread state intervention in the affairs of the Habsburg Jews characterized the brief reign of Joseph II (1780-1790). The edict of toleration, the introduction of compulsory secular education and military service are among the themes which will be examined. The study aims at a broad survey of Joseph's policies vis-a-vis the Jews in the different lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, and pays special attention to the interaction of enlightened absolutism, the enlightenment and traditional Jewish society.

Key Words: Joseph II, education, military service, toleration, Jews; enlightened absolutism

A historical atlas of Hungarian Jewry, 1700-1920:

The atlas seeks to combine maps, tables and text. It addresses, in particular, the sharp regional variations in Hungarian Jewry. Statistical data (printed and in manuscript) on demography, immigration, types of settlement, occupations, literacy, schooling, language, national and religious affiliation (e.g., Orthodox, Neologue), and other subjects, are the basis for the maps. Statistical correlations are sought among the different variables and between Jews and non-Jews in Hungary.


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