New scholarly research: Jewish religious developments in the Netherlands
As of mid-November 2009 the first scholarly research project of the Institute has started. This will hopefully lead to a book of some 500 pages, to be published not later than November 2014. The research and writing will be done by the historian Chaya Brasz from Jerusalem, with the guidance of an academic supervisory committee.
As yet there is no English translation of the comprehensive description of the project; for the Dutch version click here
The project has been named “From Adath Jeschurun to Adath Jesjoeroen”. It is intended to reveal insights into the religious developments in Dutch Jewry in the 19th and 20th centuries and into the place of these developments in general Dutch cultural patterns and in the interaction with other European Jewish cultural patterns.
The name of the project refers in a symbolic fashion to the period between – on the one hand – the ‘enlightened’ Jewish congregation ‘Adath Jeschurun’ (1797-1808), which existed separate from the original Ashkenasi congregation, but was forced by the state authorities to rejoin it, and - on the other hand - the Liberal Jewish Congregation that was founded in Arnhem in 1965. The latter goes by the same name as the former, but in a modernised Dutch spelling. This congregation in Arnhem belongs to the Netherlands Union for Progressive Judaism (Nederlands Verbond voor Progressief Jodendom).
In between these two enlightend congregations, a third Jewish congregation, also called ‘Adass Jeschurun’, had a considerable influence on late 19th
and early 20th
century Dutch Judaism. This was the neo-Orthodox congregation of Rabbi dr. Samson Raphael Hirsch in Frankfurt am Main, a foremost opponent of each and every expression of a tendency towards Reform or Liberal Judaism. His influence lasted till deep in the 1930s.
On 21 juni 2012 Oxford University Press published online an article by Chaya Brasz for the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook as a pre-publication of a small part of the forthcoming book. Read more...
The project is financially supported by:
The Prince Bernhard Culture Fund,
Society for the Benefit of the Israelites in the Netherlands
The Dr. Henriëtte Boas Foundation.
Researcher and author:
Chaya Brasz' is an historian. She studied at the Utrecht University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and specialized in the history of the Jews in the Netherlands. Some 16 years she worked at the Center for Research on Dutch Jewry at the Hebrew University. Since 2003 she works as an independent researcher and writer.
Between July 2005 and September 2006,drs. Brasz researched and wrote the Jubilee Book for the 75th anniversary of the Netherlands Union for Progressive Judaism on the history of the movement. She finished that project within the stipulated period and according to the agreements made in terms of quality, budget, scope and presentation of the book.
She has an extensive experience as a researcher and a long list of publications.