Jewish Enlightenment

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The preconditions for the Renaissance Movement lie far back in the XVIII century of the Enlightenment. The philosophizing XVIII century gave birth to the revolutionizing XIX century, which seen historically had its start with the French Revolution in 1789. The French Revolution expressed the views of the French rationalists of the XVIII century in the “Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen.” In regard to the “Jewish question” the rationalists were not concerned about the Jews per se, but about the principle of the emancipation of the disadvantaged. The Jews were the disadvantaged; therefore, they deserved to be emancipated. Clermont Tonnerre, a friend of the Jews who had become famous in the French Revolution said at that time that Jews as a nation should be given nothing, but Jews as humans should be given everything. The result of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was the legal emancipation of the Jews. In the spirit of Clermont Tonnerre, the law makers not only in France, but also in other states of Europe embraced and decreed the idea of emancipation.

photo: Stanislas Clermont-Tonnerre, Deputy of Pris at the National assembly in 1789.

On the History of the Jews in Czernowitz

The revolution year of 1848 saw Bukovina separate from Galicia (proclaimed on March 4, 1849) and brought with it several joyously greeted freedoms, which were quickly taken away by the reactionary regime....more >>

From "History of the Jews of Bukovina." Article: "From the World of Yesterday in the Jewish Renaissance Movement," by Dr. Josef Ebner (Tel Aviv), in memory of Dr. Mayer Ebner. Translated by Jerome Silverbush.  Photograph courtesy of the New York Public Library, Humanities and Social Sciences Library / Print Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.





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