The Environment of Jewish Life

Robert Liberles

in Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195171648
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199871346 | DOI:
The Environment of Jewish Life

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter shows that Jews lived in a variety of settings. In most locations, Jews lived among the Christian population. In some cities, notably in the Frankfurt and Prague ghettos, they lived in crowded conditions, with several families sharing a single unit. But in the majority of settlements, especially in the smaller towns and villages where most Jews lived, housing conditions could be more spacious. In such smaller communities Jews would allocate space to fill religious needs as well, ranging from synagogues and room to study to ritual baths and ovens. Wealthier Jews sought to improve their residences by living outside the accepted domains of Jewish residence, a move often opposed by the local authorities as a slight to Christian citizens and officials living in these more prestigious neighborhoods. For other Jews, residential restrictions often required that they move elsewhere to establish a family and a household.

Keywords: German Jews; Christian; Frankfurt; Prague; housing

Chapter.  6357 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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