International Workshop “Jewish Diplomacy and Welfare”

Jewish Diplomacy and Welfare:

Intersections and Transformations in the Early Modern and Modern Period

April 10–12, 2016

Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), Mainz,

and Museum Judengasse, Frankfurt a.M.

Shtadlanut (intercession) is generally perceived as a Jewish political practice, or as Jewish diplomacy. It was often closely connected with “righteous” and charitable activities (tzedakah) within the Jewish community. Both practices changed fundamentally during the 19th and early 20th centuries, when Jews were offered emancipation and, as a result, faced issues of inclusion, acculturation, and assimilation. In this context, the shtadlanim (advocates) of the Jewish minority were confronted with the incomplete integration as well as increasing anti-Semitism, which appear to have reinforced the necessity of Jewish intercession and solidarity.

The workshop takes a new look at the concepts of shtadlanut and tzedakah, in order to identify how they are interrelated and how these interrelations have changed over time. Key questions of the workshop are: How did Jews represent and negotiate their interests and “otherness” in different societies? Why and how could they receive special status in cultural, economic, and legal systems from the early modern period up to the 20th century? How influential were the concept and practice of tzedakah in Jewish political traditions? How have intercession and welfare been adapted in the course of the modern era?


Dr. Mirjam Thulin

Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), Mainz

Alte Universitätsstraße 19

55116 Mainz

phone: + 49 – (0) 6131 – 39 39 477


In Cooperation with

Institute for the History of the German Jews (IGDJ)

Dr. Bjoern Siegel

Beim Schlump 83

20144 Hamburg, Germany

phone:+49 – (0)40 – 42 83 82 935



Institute for Judaic Studies

Prof. Dr. Rebekka Voß

Goethe University Frankfurt

Senckenberganlage 31

60054 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

phone:+49 – (0)69 – 798 22 796



Martin Buber Chair in Jewish Thought and Philosophy

Prof. Dr. Christian Wiese

Goethe University Frankfurt

Campus Westend, Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1

60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

phone:+49 – (0)69 – 798 333 13



Space limited. Pre-registration required (

The workshop is sponsored by

Fritz Thyssen Stiftung


Conference Program


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Venue: Museum Judengasse, Battonnstraße 47, 60311 Frankfurt a.M.

6 pm                     Welcome

Mirjam Wenzel (Frankfurt a.M.)


Mirjam Thulin (Mainz), Bjoern Siegel (Hamburg), and Rebekka Voß (Frankfurt a.M.)

Keynote Lecture

Noam Zohar (Bar Ilan): Moser (Informer): Who has the Right of Access to the Non-

Jewish Power?

Followed by reception (by invitation)


Monday, April 11, 2016

Venue: Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), Alte Universitätsstraße 19, 55116 Mainz

9:15 am                               Welcome

Irene Dingel (Mainz) and Johannes Paulmann (Mainz)

9:30 am               Panel 1: Authority and Transregional Solidarity

Chair: Esther Moeller (Mainz)

Yaron Ben-Naeh (Jerusalem): Businessmen, Rabbis, and Doctors at the Sultan’s


Michael K. Silber (Jerusalem): The Well-Networked Baron: Diego d’Aguilar, an

Eighteenth Century Shtadlan and Maecenas

10:30 am             Coffee break

11 am                    Panel 2: Jewish Networks of Solidarity and Charity

Chair: Thomas Weller (Mainz)

Tirtsah Levie Bernfeld (Rotterdam): Solidarity and Intervention in Early Modern

Amsterdam: The Portuguese Community and Philanthropy Abroad

Adam Teller (Providence, Rhode Island): Jewish Philanthropic Networks in the

Early Modern Mediterranean: Towards the Creation of Trans-Regional


12 pm                   Lunch (catered)

1:30 pm                               Panel 3: Charity and Politics

Chair: Christian Wiese (Frankfurt a.M.)

François Guesnet (London): Honor, Charity, Politics: Jewish Intercession as

Entangled History between the Holy Roman Empire and Poland Lithuania

Shaul Stampfer (Jerusalem): Diplomacy of the Masses: The Pushke, the Jewish

Community in the Land of Israel, and World Politics

2:30 pm               Coffee break

Transfer to Frankfurt a.M.

4 pm                     Tour of the Old Jewish Cemetery, Battonnstraße, 60311 Frankfurt a.M. (guided by Sabine Koessling)

6 pm                     Dinner at Sohar’s Kosher Restaurant (Jewish Community Center), Savigny-  straße 66, 60325 Frankfurt a.M. (by invitation)

Transfer to Mainz

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Venue: Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), Alte Universitätsstraße 19, 55116 Mainz

9:30 am               Panel 4: Community, Welfare, and Family Politics

Chair: Cornelia Aust (Mainz)

Joshua Teplitsky (Stony Brook, NY): “A Regime of Uncles?” Welfare and Oligarchy in Early Modern Ashkenaz

Mirjam Thulin (Mainz): Prague 1744/45: Jewish Diplomacy and Relief in Action

Fritz Backhaus (Frankfurt a.M.): Mayer Amshel Rothschild as Shtadlan and Benefactor

11 am                     Coffee break

11:30 am              Panel 5: The Transformation of Intercession and Charity

Chair: Sarah Panter (Mainz)

Yochai Ben-Ghedalia (Jerusalem): Empowerment: Philanthropy, Diplomacy and

Inner-Jewish Advocacy, 1830s-1860s

Bjoern Siegel (Hamburg): Jewish Philanthropy in Habsburg Vienna: Joseph von

Wertheimer and his Understanding of International Solidarity

Eli Lederhendler (Jerusalem): From Paternal Charity to Diplomacy by Stewardship:

The Cases of Benjamin Peixotto, Jacob H. Schiff, and Louis Marshall

1 pm                      Lunch (catered)

2 pm                     Concluding Discussion

with Eli Lederhendler (Jerusalem) and Michael Walzer (Princeton) via Skype

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