From Amsterdam to Istanbul: Fundraising and Jewish Refugee Relief in the Seventeenth Century

For the Academic Community
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

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Jewish communities in the seventeenth century cooperated in helping tens of thousands of Jews displaced by the war in Ukraine.  The philanthropic network that coalesced connected Amsterdam, Hamburg, Vienna, and Venice, and channeled money to Istanbul in particular, to ransom thousands of Jewish captives who had been brought to the slave market there.

This event is part of the series "The Public and Private Politics of Philanthropy: New Insights into the Past, Present, and Future of Giving." Intended for scholars, students, and others interested in new research in the study of Jewish philanthropy, this webinar series draws attention to the past and present of Jewish philanthropy and its intersection with the political and civic life of its time.


Adam Teller

Brown University

Adam Teller is professor of Judaic studies and history at Brown University and a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research. He is the author of Money, Power, and Influence in Eighteenth-Century Lithuania: The Jews on the Radziwiłł Estates (Stanford 2016) and Rescue the Surviving Souls: The Great Jewish Refugee Crisis of the Seventeenth Century (Princeton 2020; winner of the Rachel Feldhay Brenner Award in Polish-Jewish Studies and finalist for the 2020 National Jewish Book Award in History). Teller’s work at the Katz Center examined how the Polish Jewish refugees displaced by the mid-seventeenth-century wars in Eastern Europe affected translocal and transregional systems that connected world Jewry in those years.

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The seminar is organized by Lila Corwin Berman and Steven Weitzman as part of the Jewish Philanthropy Research Initiative hosted by the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University, with sponsorship from the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.


Image: Alfred Burke, Jewish Relief Campaign Poster, 1917. Judah L. Magnes Museum, Item 5311.