Jewish Community and Public Charity in Early Modern Germany

DEC 03, 2020 | 12:00 PM TO 1:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


December 03, 2020: 12:00 PM-1:30 PM




The Center for Jewish Studies


Join us for a conversation with Debra Kaplan and Francesca Bregoli on Debra Kaplan's new book, The Patrons and Their Poor: Jewish Community and Public Charity in Early Modern Germany (Penn Press, 2020).

Register here:

In The Patrons and Their Poor, Kaplan offers the first extensive analysis of Jewish poor relief in early modern German cities and towns, focusing on three major urban Ashkenazic Jewish communities from the Western part of the Holy Roman Empire: Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbek, Frankfurt am Main, and Worms. She demonstrates how Jewish charitable institutions became increasingly formalized as Jewish authorities faced a growing number of people seeking aid amid limited resources. Kaplan explores the intersections between various sectors of the population, from wealthy patrons to the homeless and stateless poor, providing an intimate portrait of the early modern Ashkenazic community. 

Then as now, public charity tells us about both donors and recipients, revealing the values, perceptions, roles in society, and the dynamics of power that existed between those who gave and those who received.

Debra Kaplan is Associate Professor in the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Department of Jewish History at Bar Ilan University. She is a specialist in early modern Jewish social history and Jewish-Christian relations in Protestant Europe, and the author of Beyond Expulsion: Jews, Christians, and Reformation Strasbourg

Francesca Bregoli is Associate Professor of History at Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research focuses on early modern Italian and Sephardic Jewish history. She is the author of Mediterranean Enlightenment: Livornese Jews, Tuscan Culture, and Eighteenth-Century Reform.

Penn Press is pleased to offer 30% off The Patrons and Their Poor and free shipping through 12/17/2020 with code KAPLAN30-FM.