Scholarly research

From Adath Jeschurun to Adath Jesjoeroen

Our scholarly project is intended to reveal insights into the religious developments in Dutch Jewry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The name of the project refers in a symbolic fashion to the period between – on the one hand – the ‘enlightened’ Jewish congregation ‘Adath Jeschurun’ (1797-1808), which existed separate from the original Ashkenasi congregation, but was forced by the state authorities to rejoin it, and – on the other hand – the Liberal Jewish Congregation that was founded in Arnhem in 1965. The latter goes by the same name as the former, but in a modernised Dutch spelling.

In between these two enlightend congregations, a third Jewish congregation, also called ‘Adass Jeschurun’, had a considerable influence on late 19th and early 20th century Dutch Judaism. This was the neo-Orthodox congregation of Rabbi dr. Samson Raphael Hirsch in Frankfurt am Main, a foremost opponent of each and every expression of a tendency towards Reform or Liberal Judaism. His influence lasted till deep in the 1930s.

The reseach is done by Chaya Brasz. She studied history at the Utrecht University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and specialized in the history of the Jews in the Netherlands. Some 16 years she worked at the Center for Research on Dutch Jewry at the Hebrew University. Since 2003 she works as an independent researcher and writer.

Between July 2005 and September 2006, Chaya Brasz researched and wrote the Jubilee Book for the 75th anniversary of the Netherlands Union for Progressive Judaism on the history of the movement. She has an extensive experience as a researcher and a long list of publications.

On 21 June 2012 Oxford University Press published online an article by Chaya Brasz for the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook as a pre-publication of a small part of the forthcoming book.

The book will be published (in English) by the Hebrew Union College Press.