9780674059894

Building a Public Judaism

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780674059894

  • ISBN10:

    0674059891

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-01-08
  • Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
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Summary

Nineteenth-century Europe saw an unprecedented rise in the number of synagogues. Building a Public Judaism considers what their architecture and the circumstances surrounding their construction reveal about the social progress of modern European Jews. Looking at synagogues in four important centers of Jewish life-London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin-Saskia Coenen Snyder argues that the process of claiming a Jewish space in European cities was a marker of acculturation but not of full acceptance. Whether modest or spectacular, these new edifices most often revealed the limits of European Jewish integration. Debates over building initiatives provide Coenen Snyder with a vehicle for gauging how Jews approached questions of self-representation in predominantly Christian societies and how public manifestations of their identity were received. Synagogues fused the fundamentals of religion with the prevailing cultural codes in particular locales and served as aesthetic barometers for European Jewry's degree of modernization. Coenen Snyder finds that the dialogues surrounding synagogue construction varied significantly according to city. While the larger story is one of increasing self-agency in the public life of European Jews, it also highlights this agency's limitations, precisely in those places where Jews were thought to be most acculturated, namely in France and Germany. Building a Public Judaism grants the peculiarities of place greater authority than they have been given in shaping the European Jewish experience. At the same time, its place-specific description of tensions over religious tolerance continues to echo in debates about the public presence of religious minorities in contemporary Europe.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
An Architecture of Emancipation or an Architecture of Separatism?: Berlinp. 25
"There Should Be Sermons in Stone": Victorian Londonp. 87
From Café Chantant to Jewish House of Worship: Amsterdamp. 151
"We Want a Synagogue; the Jews of Paris are Ready to Pay for It": Parisp. 207
Conclusionp. 253
Abbreviationsp. 271
Notesp. 273
Acknowledgmentsp. 337
Indexp. 341
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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