Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

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Editor-in-Chief: Dan Diner

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From Europe to America to the Middle East, North Africa and other non-European Jewish settlement areas the Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture covers the recent history of the Jews from 1750 until the 1950s.

More information: Brill.com

Pacific Palisades

(2,319 words)

Author(s): Daub, Adrian
Neighborhood of Los Angeles which became the place of exile for a number of prominent refugees from Nazi Germany. In the early 1940s, Pacific Palisades and neighboring communities were home to some of the most important artists and thinkers of German modernism, among them Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Berthold Brecht, Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer , Lion Feuchtwanger, Franz Werfel, Arnold Schönberg, Alfred Döblin, and Fritz Lang. In this way, the small community on the Pacific Ocean became a symbol of intellectual emigration and especially of the e…
Date: 2021-07-13

Pakn treger

(2,042 words)

Author(s): Cohen, Hagit
When printed Hebrew and Yiddish books became affordable for a wide reading audience in the early Modern period, the earliest and most common sellers of these books were travelling vendors. In Eastern Europe these peddlers were known as  pakn tregers (sing.  pakn treger; Yidd.; “parcel carriers”). They performed an important function in the dissemination of normative writings, but they also helped spread the concepts of the Enlightenment as well as new religious ideas.1. Beginnings of the Jewish book tradeFollowing the invention of printing in the 15th century, Halakhic …
Date: 2021-07-13

Pale of Settlement

(2,640 words)

Author(s): Avrutin, Eugene M.
An area of 15 provinces along the western border of the Russian Empire stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. The Pale of Settlement (Rus.  Cherta osedlosti) was almost the only region in the Czarist Empire in which Jews were allowed to settle permanently. It was the result of the Russian population policy to isolate certain population groups and limit their settlement to a specific region. The Pale of Settlement was not formally dissolved until the February Revolution in March 1917.1. OriginsIn the course of the Partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793, and 1795 the Russi…
Date: 2021-07-13

Palestine Office

(2,505 words)

Author(s): Morris-Reich, Amos
Established in Jaffa in 1908 under the umbrella of the Zionist Organization, the Palestine Office had by the First World War developed into the most important agency coordinating the Jewish colonization effort in Palestine. The Palestine Office organized land purchases as well as the founding of settlements, and provided capital for various initiatives. A crucial influence on the work of the institution was its long-standing director, the sociologist and demographer Arthur Ruppin (1876–1943), whose activities in the region embodied the realization of practical Zionism.1. Found…
Date: 2021-07-13

Palestine Orchestra

(3,372 words)

Author(s): Ziemer, Hansjakob
The Palestine Orchestra was founded in Palestine in 1936 on the initiative of the Polish-Jewish violinist Bronisław Huberman (1882–1947). It was mainly comprised of musicians who had emigrated from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe after 1933. What connected them were the conventions, the norms, and the values of the musical world as they had emerged in the 19th century. Out of this tradition grew, with the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.1. The orchestraMost members of the Palestine Orchestra came to Palestine with the…
Date: 2021-07-13

Pan Tadeusz

(3,144 words)

Author(s): Breysach, Barbara
The epic poem  Pan Tadeusz (1834), composed by Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855) in his Parisian exile, marks the birth of Poland’s national literature. At the same time, the work itself became the foundation for a new interpretation of the history of Polish-Jewish relations. In the place of hostile separation and discrimination, it offers the idea of a Polish-Jewish common cause and a common mission, understood in a messianic sense, to promote freedom and self-determination. However, the anti-Jewish disc…
Date: 2021-07-13

Pariah People

(3,300 words)

Author(s): Dunkhase, Jan Eike
Jews in Europe have been compared to the Indian low-caste group of the Paraiyar (anglicized as “pariahs”) since the early 19th century. Max Weber (1864–1920) placed it at the beginning of his religio-sociological study  Das Antike Judentum (1921; “Ancient Judaism,” 1952). Weber’s concept of the “Jewish pariah people” must be seen in the context of his research into occidental rationalism and the controversy over Jews and capitalism that was going on among political economists in Germany around 1900. Jewish thinkers have criticize…
Date: 2021-07-13


(2,687 words)

Author(s): Slepyan, Kenneth
Contrary to widespread notions of Jewish passivity in the face of the Holocaust, Jews did revolt against their oppressors and persecutors in similar numbers and ways to those of other peoples under occupation during the Second World War. Tens of thousands of Jewish partisans operated in Western Europe and North Africa. They participated in national resistance movements against the Axis Powers, but at the same time fought against antisemitic elements within these groupings.1. OverviewJewish partisans fought in the Second World War especially in Poland and in the Sov…
Date: 2021-07-13


(2,272 words)

Author(s): Richard I. Cohen
Charity is a religious commandment in Judaism ( mitzvah; Mitsvot). Beginning in the 18th century, a growing number of Jewish philanthropists provided funds not only for charitable purposes but in support of the arts as well. The social and financial status of the benefactors, their aesthetic tastes, and a sense of belonging to their home town increasingly came to determine the various philanthropic undertakings, while adherence to the traditional duty receded into the background.1. Charity as religious dutyIn traditional Jewish communities that followed the religious l…
Date: 2021-07-13


(3,845 words)

Author(s): Herzig, Arno
The first pan-German (national) parliament derived from general and free, but not direct, elections after the Revolution of 1848 was named for the site of the assembly, the Paulskirche (St. Paul’s Church) in Frankfurt am Main. The paliament convened on May 18, 1848. For German Jews, the events were tied to the hope of realizing their emancipation. The Paulskirche Parliament included several Jewish delegates; the most important among them was the Hamburg lawyer and journalist Gabriel Riesser (1806–1863). 1. The Revolution of 1848The March Revolution of 1848 was a manifestatio…
Date: 2021-07-13


(1,475 words)

Author(s): Richarz, Monika
In premodern Europe, and in some cases beyond, peddling was a characteristically Jewish occupation. The work of the travelling peddler who went door to door to offer his wares allowed certain sections of the Jewish lower classes to earn their livelihood over generations. With the emergence of the industrial society and the Jewish rise into the middle class, the trade disappeared almost completely among Jews in Central and Western Europe, while it could still sometimes be found in Eastern Europe up until the Second World War. Jewish peddlers can be shown to have existed in most Eu…
Date: 2021-07-13

Peshev Protest

(2,459 words)

Author(s): Gabriele Nissim
Protest by Bulgarian politicians in March of 1943 which led to the suspension of the deportation of Bulgarian Jews and thus to their rescue. The protest under the leadership of the  deputy speaker of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, Dimitar Peshev (1894–1973), had humanitarian as well as interest-based motivations. The operation constituted the only larger-scale intervention within a political entity during the Holocaust that resulted in the survival of the entire Jewish population of a country. For a long time, however, th…
Date: 2021-07-13


(2,057 words)

Author(s): von der Lühe, Irmela
Cabaret founded in Munich in 1933 by Erika Mann and her circle and the most successful theatre company of German-speaking exile. After emigrating from Germany, the Pfeffermühle, with over 1,000 performances in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Czechoslovakia, waged a risky as well as unusual satirical struggle against Hitler, antisemitism, and National Socialism.  For some years, the ensemble skillfully held its own against the hostilities that reached them even in exile and…
Date: 2021-07-13