Tag Archives: Carlebach_Elisheva

New Book: Palaces of Time, by Prof. Elisheva Carlebach

 Congratulations to Columbia Professor Elisheva Carlebach on the publication of her newest book, Palaces of Time, by Harvard University Press.

From the description:

"From one of the leading historians of the Jewish past comes a stunning look into a previously unexamined dimension of Jewish life and culture: the calendar. In the late sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII instituted a momentous reform of Western timekeeping, and with it a period of great instability. Jews, like all minority cultures in Europe, had to realign their time-keeping to accord with the new Christian calendar.

Elisheva Carlebach shows that the calendar is a complex and living system, constantly modified as new preoccupations emerge and old priorities fade. Calendars serve to structure time and activities and thus become mirrors of experience. Through this seemingly mundane and all-but-overlooked document, we can reimagine the quotidian world of early modern Jewry, of market days and sacred days, of times to avoid Christian gatherings and times to secure communal treasures. In calendars, we see one of the central paradoxes of Jewish existence: the need to encompass the culture of the other while retaining one’s own unique culture. Carlebach reveals that Jews have always lived in multiple time scales, and demonstrates how their accounting for time, as much as any cultural monument, has shaped Jewish life.

After exploring Judaica collections around the world, Carlebach brings to light these textually rich and beautifully designed repositories of Jewish life. With color illustrations throughout, this is an evocative illumination of how early modern Jewish men and women marked the rhythms and realities of time and filled it with anxieties and achievements."

The Columbia Hebrew Manuscript collection has many of these calendars, but none as profusely decorated as the one described here.

N. B. There will be a brief talk/book signing at Columbia University Bookstore, this coming Wed. night (4/6) at 6pm.

The Jewish Book: Past, Present, Future (Symposium at CJH)

What makes a Jewish book?

Who are the People of the Book?


How have Jewish books changed with changes in technology?


The "history of the book" is a lively field of historical scholarship that looks at authorship, publication, and dissemination of texts of all kinds as windows onto culture and society in different periods and places. Book history also plumbs the relationships between writers, scribes, printers, and readers. Join us on April 3 at 1 PM as an international group of scholars examine the contours of Jewish identity through the study of texts in Hebrew and other Jewish languages, and of the Jews and non-Jews who produced and consumed them.




What was a Jewish Book? Perspectives from Three Periods in History

Moderator: Adam Shear, University of Pittsburgh

Panelists: Katrin Kogman-Appel, Ben-Gurion University

Menahem Schmelzer, Jewish Theological Seminary

Gennady Estraikh, New York University


Texts and Cultures: Three Case Studies

Moderator: Marjorie Lehman, Jewish Theological Seminary

Panelists: David Stern, University of Pennsylvania

Elisheva Carlebach, Columbia University

Jeremy Stolow, Concordia University


The Future of the Jewish Book

Moderator: Jonathan Karp, American Jewish Historical Society

Panelists: Jeffrey Shandler, Rutgers University

Alana Newhouse, Tablet Magazine

Eliyahu Stern, Yale University




The program will be followed by a wine and cheese reception and viewing of the exhibition Zero to Ten: First Decades/New Centuries: Highlights from the Collections at the Center for Jewish History


Ticket Info: $20 general; $15 CJH, partner and Association for Jewish Studies members; $8 students and seniors


Presented by CJH Lillian Goldman Scholars Working Group on the Jewish Book.  This program is made possible by the generous support of Amy P. Goldman and the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust and presented by the Lillian Goldman Scholars Working Group on the Jewish Book in collaboration with the Jewish Book Council, the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and the Columbia University Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies.


For more info, or to order tickets, go here: http://www.cjh.org/event/1759