A people between languages: Toward a Jewish history of concepts

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The field of modern European Jewish history, as I hope to show, can be of great interest to those who deal with conceptual history in other contexts, just as much as the conceptual historical project may enrich the study of Jewish history. This article illuminates the transformation of the Jewish languages in Eastern Europe-Hebrew and Yiddish-from their complex place in traditional Jewish society to the modern and secular Jewish experience. It presents a few concrete examples for this process during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The article then deals with the adaptation of Central and Western European languages within the internal Jewish discourse in these parts of Europe and presents examples from Germany, France, and Hungary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalContributions to the History of Concepts
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Assimilation
  • Emancipation
  • Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment)
  • Hebrew
  • Jewish press
  • Jewish secularization
  • Jews
  • Multilingualism
  • Yiddish

RAMBI publications

  • Jews -- Europe -- History -- 1800-2000
  • Jews -- Europe -- Historiography
  • Jews -- Cultural assimilation -- Europe
  • Jews -- Emancipation
  • Haskalah
  • Secular Jews
  • Jews -- Europe, Eastern -- Languages
  • Yiddish language
  • Hebrew language
  • Zionism -- Philosophy
  • Hebrew language -- Political aspects


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