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Ashkenazim and Sephardim: A European Perspective


Edited By Andrzej Katny, Izabela Olszewska and Aleksandra Twardowska

This volume is devoted to selected aspects of the culture and language of the two largest Jewish Diaspora groups, Sephardim and Ashkenazim. The authors analyze the latest European research tendencies related to both Jewish factions. Questions concern the historical, social and cultural contact with non-Jewish environment, the problems of Jewish identity, the condition of languages in both groups (Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish, Hakitía), and Jewish anthroponymy. The reflections concern various areas of contemporary Germany, Poland, Russia, the Balkan countries, Italy, the countries of North Africa inhabited by both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews. For the analyses, not only documents, manuscripts, press articles, and literary texts serve as a basis but also the artifacts of material culture.


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Susanne Marten-Finnis: Staatliche Zensur, Selbstzensur und Mehrsprachigkeit in der jüdischen Presse Russlands (1804–1906)


Staatliche Zensur, Selbstzensur und Mehrsprachigkeit in der jüdischen Presse Russlands (1804–1906) In loco parentis Susanne Marten-Finnis University of Portsmouth In loco parentis. State Censorship, Self-censorship and Multilingualism in Imperial Rus- sia’s Jewish Press, 1804–1906. – Since the invention of movable type printing in the mid 15th century rabbinic leaders have praised printing as the ‘sacred craft’ and a powerful tool for the dissemination of Jewish teaching, one of the most important mandates of Jewish faith. Along with the establishment of printing presses in Imperial Russia came the government censorship of all books, including Jewish ones. Jewish community leaders considered government cen- sorship as representing the opinion of society, restraining people from acting contrary to pub- lic expectations. Any dissenters risked isolation and the burning of their works. Before gov- ernment censorship, they had implemented their own mechanisms of checking and preven- tion. This pre-censorship had two aims, firstly not to annoy the printer, who at that time had the power to reject anything he disagreed with, and secondly to satisfy the Jewish clergy who were the guardians of the religious and moral wellbeing of the Jewish people. As the genera- tor of ideas the clergy was also deemed responsible for their control, especially when it came to printing and dissemination. A Russian-language Jewish press was launched by an accultur- ated Jewish intelligentsia following the liberal reforms during the first decade of the reign of Alexander II, while a mass Yiddish press emerged with the ambition of the General...

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