A comprehensive historical survey of the Jewish presence in Central Europe from the seventeenth century to the Holocaust, German-Jewish History in Modern Times is a four-volume collective project by a team of leading scholars, offering a vivid portrait of Jewish History. The series is sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute, established in 1955 in Jerusalem, London, and New York for the purpose of advancing scholarship on the Jews in German-speaking lands. Integration in Dispute 1871–1918 comprises the third volume and focuses on a period of political, economic, and social change that fundamentally transformed German Jewry.
Eminent scholars consider a broad range of topics: religious and cultural life, demographics, political, legal, and socioeconomic status, relations between Jews and non-Jews, and Jewish participation in the larger context of European history.
Volume 3 begins with the establishment of civil equality for Jews in Germany and Austria-Hungary and describes the complexities of their economic and social integration. The contributors explore the challenges that confronted Jews as they encountered both unprecedented opportunities and continued resistance to their full emancipation and participation in public life. The book discusses their standing as a minority group within German political and professional life and as a differentiated portion of the German middle class; how they coped with successive waves of political antisemitism; how they continued to adapt traditional religious practices to modernity; and how urban middle-class life transformed Jewish families as well as the role of Jewish women in the domestic and public spheres. The forces of social change, coupled with the persistence of antisemitism formed the context for the emergence of Zionism, which posed a powerful challenge to the dominant principle of integration. This volume also seeks to understand the nature and timing of the exceptional contributions of German Jews to the thriving modern culture of such cities as late imperial Vienna and Berlin as well as to the specific religious culture of Judaism.
Each volume includes a bibliographical essay referring readers to the most important secondary literature, a chronology covering the major events discussed, and a series of maps and illustrations. Encompassing the most up-to-date research on the topic, German Jewish History in Modern Times is an achievement to be valued by historians, educators, and any reader seeking to understand the singular heritage of the Jewish people in Central Europe.