Solving the “Jewish Problem”

Derek J. Penslar

in Shylock's Children

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520225909
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925847 | DOI:
Solving the “Jewish Problem”

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This chapter talks about Jewish social policy, particularly that produced by the simultaneous intertwining of the institutional-administrative and socioeconomic aspects of Jewish society, and engendered by modern social policy parallel to the melding of state and civil society. Even where and when liberalism enjoyed its greatest hegemony in Europe, the nineteenth-century Jewish community as a legal entity had never dissolved, and the provision of charity had remained one of the community's most important functions in the eyes of the host society. The purview of Jewish philanthropy widened considerably in the late 1860s. A fresh wave of crisis galvanized Jewish public opinion, stimulated wide-ranging philanthropic activity, and promoted international Jewish solidarity through concerted action on behalf of one's oppressed brethren. The sense of common fate transcended national boundaries. Despite rivalries between states and between Jews living in those states, expressions of international Jewish brotherhood were frequent and sincere.

Keywords: Jewish social policy; Jewish society; hegemony; Europe; liberalism; Jewish philanthropy

Chapter.  20171 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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