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Jewish Atlantic World

Much of the scholarship about Jewish communities in the Americas focuses on religious texts and practices. Laura Leibmann, an English scholar who teaches at Reed College, believes that our contemporary understanding of these communities can be enriched by examining "everyday objects that defined and created Jewish identity." Liebmann is the author of Messianism, Secrecy, and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life, an award winning book that centers on the importance of these quotidian objects. This website, which can be experienced as a teaching and learning tool that accompanies Leibman's book, lets readers browse a number of artifacts from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. Items include artifacts from major areas in the United States and the Caribbean where Jewish individuals settled as well as artifacts from major sites of emigration, including Amsterdam, London, and Hambert. These artifacts can be browsed by Type (including Architecture, Funerary Art, and Images), Time Period, or Geographic Region. This website also includes two short webinars hosted by Dr. Liebmann and a handful of classroom activities - designed for high school or college classrooms - that help history students situate and analyze these important objects.
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