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


Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur (1878) by Maurycy Gottlieb (1856–1879)

Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur (1878) by Maurycy Gottlieb (1856–1879) Credit: Tel Aviv Museum of Art Collection. Gift of Sidney Lamon, New York, 1955.

Jewish Visual Cultures from Ancient Times to the 21st Century

The Posen Digital Library (PDL) features hundreds of images and excerpts from primary sources related to Jewish visual cultures from ancient times to the 21st century. In these 3–5 minute Teaching Clip videos available to use FREE in your lectures and classes, Professor Elisheva Carlebach explores the contributions of Jewish artists and discusses Jewish women in art, as subjects and artists, using the art of Maurycy Gottlieb (Teaching Clip #4) and Charlotte von Rothschild (Teaching Clip #6).

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

Jewish Women Create Art: Posen Library Teaching Clip #6

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

In Gender Roles in Public Rituals: Posen Library Teaching Clip #4, Elisheva Carlebach introduces us to High Holiday customs and shows how a synagogue appears on Yom Kippur through Maurycy Gottlieb’s painting, Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur (1878), which demonstrates how Orthodox congregational tradition demands separation by gender. Jewish women are shown here sitting together in the synagogue balcony. Gottlieb is most well-known for the large Rembrandtesque paintings he made in the last three years of his short life (1856‒1879). Besides this painting, these include unfinished works relevant to the history of Christianity.

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

Jewish Women Create Art: Posen Library Teaching Clip #6

In Jewish Women Create Art: Posen Library Teaching Clip #6, we are introduced to Charlotte von Rothschild, the first woman known to have illuminated a Hebrew manuscript. Rothschild (1807–1859) illustrated the text of a Passover Haggadah, interpreted through a nineteenth-century aesthetic sensibility. In this video clip, Elisheva Carlebach opens up questions for discussions about women Jewish artists and their roles and gender limitations in secular and religious society. Deborah Dash Moore discusses with Carlebach the latter’s decision to feature Rothschild’s art on the cover of Volume 6 of The Posen Library, which highlights the biblical figure of Miriam.

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

Suggested search terms on PDL for more related selections: gender, Haggadah, holidays, manuscripts, Passover, rituals

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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