European Summer University for Jewish Studies
"Power"July 22 – 27, 2018

An event organized by the Department of Jewish History and Culture, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich; the Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Basel; the Center for Jewish Cultural History, University of Salzburg; the Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Vienna; the Chair of Jewish Studies, Otto Friedrich University Bamberg; and the Sigi Feigel Professorship for Jewish Studies, University of Zurich—in collaboration with the Jewish Museum Hohenems.

Quite frequently, Jewish history, especially in the context of the Diaspora, is perceived as a history of powerlessness—or to put it with an anti-Semitic tinge, as a history of “clandestine power.”

From July 22 until 27, 2018, the 10th European Summer University for Jewish Studies Hohenems will delve into the question of whether, in fact, it might be possible to discover important facets beyond this black-and-white approach.
Time and again in Jewish history, there existed, even in the absence of state sovereignty, rudiments of Jewish self-organization—or representations of interests and intermediaries—and hence forms of Jewish power over Jews. This ranged from rabbinical authorities whose interpretation of Jewish law had significant impact on the daily life of Jewish communities and individuals—and, therefore, remained socially contentious—all the way to political autonomy. While some regions even saw the establishment of elected statutory bodies, their cynical caricature in the form of the Nazi-instituted “Judenräte” (Jewish councils) quasi put a jarring question mark behind the notion of autonomy in the Diaspora.
Yet, what happens when Jews actually do have state power over Jews as well as over non-Jews? Seventy years after the founding of the State of Israel, questions arise in an increasingly charged manner, including in the Diaspora, concerning belonging and the power to define “true Judaism.”
The Summer University 2018 will address these questions in its customary broad-based interdisciplinary manner and examine rabbinical scholars and interpretations of the law, historical points of intersection and intra-Jewish social or political conflicts as well as their reflections in literature.

The Summer University for Jewish Studies Hohenems is open to students of all disciplines. Students of Jewish Studies at the participating universities—Munich, Basel, Salzburg, Vienna, Bamberg, and Zurich—will be granted preferential admission.


Summer University 2018—Public Events (in German):

So 22. Juli 2018, 17.00 Uhr
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Langer (Wien)
Macht der Rabbinen. Eine innerjüdische Erfolgsgeschichte

So 22. Juli 2018, 19.00 Uhr
Prof. Dr. Moshe Zimmermann (Jerusalem)
„Shimshon der Nebechdiker“. Das Selbstbild Israels zwischen Souveränität, Macht und Gewalt

Di 24. Juli 2018, 20.00 Uhr
Dr. Ole Frahm (Frankfurt)
Retter, Ding, Monstrum: Golems und Superhelden im Comic

Mi 25. Juli 2018, 20.00 Uhr
Prof. Dr. Alfred Bodenheimer (Basel)
Macht und Ohnmacht des Geldes. Realität und Bearbeitungen des Jud Süss