In the Dutch “Golden Age,” the city of Amsterdam was renowned for its religious toleration, cosmopolitanism, and mercantile strength, making it an ideal destination for Jews seeking a place to build new lives. Spanish and Portuguese conversos escaping the Inquisition and, later, Ashkenazi Jews fleeing poverty and instability in Eastern Europe, came to Amsterdam and established communities that would soon be admired across Europe. This lecture will tell the story of the rapid rise of these unique congregations (and point toward their inevitable decline), offering a taste of Jewish life in the seventeenth century.
Anne Oravetz Albert is the author of “The Rabbi and the Rebels: Isaac Aboab da Fonseca’s Treatise on the Herem” (Jewish Quarterly Review, 2014), and “From Converso to Jew in Early Modern Amsterdam: Seeking the Right Path” in a forthcoming volume from the University of Pennsylvania Press. This year at the Katz Center, Dr. Albert studies the political thought of the Amsterdam Sephardim during the seventeenth century.
Old York Road Temple-Beth Am, 971 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001