Until its destruction during the Holocaust, the individual Jewish community was at the core of Eastern European Jewish politics, culture and identity.
This lecture argues that the charters issued by the crown and individual landlords allowed Jewish communities - or, to be more precise, its leaders - to establish a system of self-governance unparalleled in the long history of Jewish diasporic civilisation.
Francois will review the ramifications of this tradition of autonomy as well as its permutations from its emergence to the 20th century.
François Guesnet is Professor of Modern Jewish History in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College, London. He held research and teaching fellowships at the Hebrew University Jerusalem, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Potsdam University, University of Oxford, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and Dartmouth College. He has published widely on the early modern and 19th century history of Jews in Poland and is co-chair of the Editorial Board of Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry.
This is part of the JW3 partnership series with UCL and the Sir Martin Gilbert Learning Centre.