Jewish Families and Kinship in the Early Modern and Modern Eras. PaRDeS 2020

Jewish Families and Kinship in the Early Modern and Modern Eras. PaRDeS 2020

Mirjam Thulin und Markus Krah, im Auftrag der Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien e.V. (vjs)
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15.05.2019 -
Mirjam Thulin, Markus Krah

PaRDeS, the journal of the German Association for Jewish Studies (Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien e.V., vjs), devotes its upcoming issue to the topic Jewish Families and Kinship in the Early Modern and Modern Eras.

The Jewish family as a field of inquiry is at the intersection – or in the shadow – of the great topics in Jewish historiography and modern social and cultural family research: modernization and privatization of Judaism and Jewish life, integration and distinctiveness, and gender roles and education, to name but a few. After such research had started among Jewish scholars of Wissenschaft des Judentums in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, academic Jewish family research became institutionalized in 1913 with the journal Archiv für jüdische Familienforschung, edited by Max Grunwald (1871–1953). The supporters of the journal from the Viennese Jewish Museum intended to deepen the knowledge and significance of wills and testaments, family trees, privileges, diplomas, mohel books, and other documents as sources of historical research on the Jewish family. Today, we can add to the list of sources also material objects that were or still are in the possession of a family and that explain the path of a certain family or kinship relations.

The Shoah interrupted Jewish family research for a long time. The pioneering studies of Jacob Katz then brought the field back into the academic discourse. Since that time, we have learned about the “myths and realities” of and in Jewish families, their means of “coping with life and death,” the “realities of interfaith families,” and many other issues, which nevertheless only hint at the untapped potential of this field. It is obvious that family research has always been a profoundly interdisciplinary field. Gender studies, regional/transregional and local studies, and everyday and social history offer fresh and at the same time systematic approaches to the history of Jewish families.

We invite contributions that include but are not limited to the following subjects:
- marriage and married life (founding of the first household, acquisition of work or busi-ness, children, death of children)
- networks and mobility (family dynasties, yichus/status, status preservation and loss of status, social placement of children, etc.)
- role models and roles of men and women (fathers and mothers, children, siblings, cous-ins, grandparents, etc.)
- family business (companies and enterprises in the hands of Jewish families, family heritage and inheritance disputes)
- Family as focus and locus of Jewish religion (intermarriage, wedding ceremonies, conversion)
- history and historiography of Jewish academic family research

We invite standard-length articles (30,000-35,000 characters, incl. spaces), but also shorter outlines of current research projects (e.g. dissertations, 7,500-12,500 characters), which will undergo a peer review. Please send a one-page abstract (approx. 500 words) and a 100-word CV in English or German by June 15, 2019 to the editors Mirjam Thulin and Markus Krah at We will inform the authors about the acceptance of their proposals by June 30. The deadline for contributions will be November 15, 2019. We also invite reviews of recent books relevant to the volume’s topic; please contact the editor for reviews, Bianca Pick (

PaRDeS is an interdisciplinary, fully double-blind peer-reviewed, and Rambi-indexed journal, published online (open access) and in print. Previous issues of the journal can be found by following this link:



Mirjam Thulin
Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte (IEG), Alte Universitätsstr. 19
D-55116 Mainz, Germany

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