Discover History, Art, Writings - Primary Sources from Biblical Times to the 21st Century Discover History, Art, Writings - Primary Sources from Biblical Times to the 21st Century

“The Posen Library’s digital platform (PDL) makes accessible little-known documents of the Jewish past that add enormously to the effectiveness of the classroom. Via a user-friendly website, professors and students can analyze the intimate letters between an early modern Jewish husband and wife, probe the meanings of a blessing warning of Jewish heresy, and investigate the life of a medieval midwife through her diary, among many other gems. The Posen Library opens a world of Jewish creativity.”
—NANCY SINKOFF, Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Rutgers University


“David Ben-Gurion Standing on His Head” (Sharon Hotel Beach, Herzliya) by Paul Goldman (1900–1986)

David Ben-Gurion Standing on His Head (Sharon Hotel Beach, Herzliya) by Paul Goldman (1900–1986) Credit: Paul Goldman, MUSA, Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv Collection. Photo credit: Private Collection / Photo © Christie's Images / Bridgeman Images.

Modern Jewish History, 1750–2005

The Posen Digital Library (PDL) features hundreds of images and excerpts from primary sources related to modern Jewish history, 1750–2005. In these 3–5 minute Teaching Clip videos available to use FREE in your lectures and classes, Professor Elisheva Carlebach, Columbia University, discusses confronting modernity and the advent of the secular society (TC #4); Professor Zvi Gitelman, University of Michigan, traces the historical changes that he and his coeditor Todd Endelman consider as having influenced the wide turn to secularism in the interwar years, 1918 to 1939 (TC #7).

Gender Roles in Public Rituals: Posen Library Teaching Clip #4

Early Moments in Secular Jewish Thought: Posen Library Teaching Clip #7

Gender Roles in Public Rituals: Posen Library Teaching Clip #4

Gender Roles in Public Rituals: Posen Library Teaching Clip #4 introduces us to High Holiday customs and shows how a synagogue appears on Yom Kippur. Maurycy Gottlieb’s painting, Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur (1878), demonstrates how Orthodox congregational tradition demands separation by gender. Jewish women are shown here sitting together in the synagogue balcony. As Elisheva Carlebach points out, the women in the gallery are not passive; they perform acts of charity and not all of them are engaged in prayer. The material, including details about the life of the artist, is appropriate for class discussions on how Jewish history confronts modernity and secular society.

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Suggested search terms on PDL for more related selections: gender, holidays, prayer, synagogue, Yom Kippur

Early Moments in Secular Jewish Thought: Posen Library Teaching Clip #7

In Early Moments in Secular Jewish Thought: Posen Library Teaching Clip #7, Zvi Gitelman introduces us to historical changes that he and his coeditor Todd Endelman consider as having influenced the turn to secularism in the years, 1918 to 1939. Beginning with Spinoza and changes which spread throughout Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the Americas, these years saw changes in education, assimilation, immigration, and interaction with Christian and Communist societies against a backdrop of growing antisemitism.

Related PDL Readings – Register on the PDL to access. Registration is fast and free!

Suggested search terms on PDL for more related selections: assimilation, culture, holidays, religious traditions, secular Judaism

Tip for Teachers: : To avoid YouTube pre-roll ads, use the “insert” feature on Google Slides or PowerPoint when you link to the video on YouTube. Or play the Teaching Clip on our pages. FYI, here are brief videos on how to use YouTube videos in your Zoom sessionhow to insert a playable YouTube video into a Google Doc, and how to insert a playable YouTube video into PowerPoint 2020.

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