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Manual for Faculty
Unit 6: Roads from the Ghetto
(1789 to 1914)
Introduction Teaching This Unit Directions to Students Bookmarks
Directions to Students
(From the Study Guide)

Before Viewing the Show

Examine map 8 in the Study Guide, which will aid in understanding the end of the program.

Watch for . . . and Think About

The Industrial Revolution began in Western Europe in the late eighteenth century. Note the tremendously powerful machines and think about how they were able to produce extraordinary quantities of manufactured materials.

Look for the black-and-white photographs of Jewish society in Eastern Europe. Was life there comparable to that of Jewish society in Western Europe?

Observe the anti-Semitic drawings and the cartoons of the Jews and Jewish life. How were these artists portraying the Jewish people?

While Reading the Study Guide and Source Reader
Look for the following:
  • The innovations of modern society and see, in turn, how they affected the Jews living in Western Europe.
  • Some of the ideas espoused by the French Revolution. How did these ideals generate a movement for the emancipation of the Jews? Identify emancipation, Enlightenment.
  • The differences in Jewish legal status in Western European countries.
  • Why some Jews tried to reform their religion. What were they trying to achieve? Did all the Jews agree with their first efforts? Identify Wissenschaft des Judentums, Positive-Historical Judaism, and Neo-Orthodoxy.
  • How the political and economic situation in Eastern Europe differed from that in France and Germany. What options were open to the Jews of Russia?
  • The nature of anti-Semitism in Eastern and Western Europe. Was it the same? Who were its spokesmen? Why were many people receptive to anti-Semitic ideas? How did Jews across Europe respond to these attacks? Identify Zionism, Diaspora nationalism, Bundism.
After Viewing and Reading
  • How did Moses Mendelssohn counsel Jews who were unsure of how to approach the promises of the Enlightenment and emancipation? What was the process whereby all the Jews of France were emancipated? Did Napoleon attempt to rescind the grant of equal rights to the Jews?
  • How did Napoleon's defeat affect the Jews of Central Europe? Why did the Jews in 1848 believe that emancipation was finally at hand?
  • How did the Reform movement attempt to refashion Judaism? How did other Jewish groups respond to the process of emancipation? Describe Jewish enlightenment efforts in Russia. How were these attempts greeted by the majority of the Russian Jews? Why was the situation so different from that in Western Europe?
  • Define anti-Semitism. What were some of the major points of anti-Semitic ideology? How did the Dreyfus Affair become a referendum on the status of Jews in France? How did it affect Theodor Herzl?
  • Why did anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe erupt in physical attacks against the Jews? How did the Bundists and Zionists respond to this challenge?
Suggested Readings

Salo W. Baron, "The Modern Age," in Leo W. Schwarz, ed., Great Ages and Ideas of the Jewish People (Modern Library, 1956)

Lucy Dawidowicz, The Golden Tradition (Beacon, 1967)

Jacob Katz, Out of the Ghetto (Harvard University Press, 1973)

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