Sponsored by: The Max Kade Foundation, Department of Germanic and Slavic
Languages and Literatures, School of Languages and Literatures, Jewish
Studies Program, and RSGO of the College of the Liberal Arts of the
Pennsylvania State University
In the late 18th century, Aaron Levi, a wealthy Orthodox Jew, did an
extraordinary thing, he gave the town of Aaronsburg to the tiny frontier
population of German Protestants and donated a pewter communion service to
the Christian church with which to serve their spiritual needs. His
generosity has inspired several celebrations in our century. The first
occurred in October 1949 and celebrated the mutually tolerant and
productive symbiosis of Jews and Christians. The 50th anniversary of that
event is the impetus for the another celebration- this conference.
It is particularly appropriate for the Max Kade German-American Research
Institute to organize a conference around the theme of Jewish-Christian
relations during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries not only to
acknowledge and honor the interesting bit of local Pennsylvania history,
but also to draw attention to a topic that has not yet received its share
of scholarly attention. The conference is a pioneer attempt to draw
attention to this important, but neglected aspect of North America's early
Austrian writer, Renate Welsh, will read from her work as a prelude to the
conference. Ms. Welsh has just published a work of fiction on Austrian Jews
who emigrated to America in the 19th century.
Conference presentations (see below)
Join us for an afternoon in Aaronsburg, PA and a tour of the Historical
Museum of Aaronsburg. Banquet.
Speakers and presentation topics:
James H. Williams, Middle Tennessee State College: "Jews, Lutherans, and
Calvinists in the Dutch Atlantic World."
Stephen Burnett, University of Nebraska:
"The More Things Change: Jews and Other Germans in 18th Century Germany."
William Pencak, Pennsylvania State University:
"Pennsylvania Jews- Mirror for a Commonwealth."
Renate Wilson, John Hopkins University:
"Reaching out to the diasporas: The Halle missions to the near East and to
Holly Snyder, Brandeis University:
"'Error and Absurdities'?: Jewish-Pietist Encounters from the Jewish
A.G. Roeber, Pennsylvania State University:
"'What Law Requires is Written on their Hearts': Noachic Law and Natural
Law for Jews and German-speakers in Early America."
Hans-Jürgen Schrader, Université de Genève:
"The Relationship between Radical Pietists and Jews in North America."
The Max Kade Institute for German-American Research
The Max Kade Institute for German-American Research was founded in 1993
through a generous grant of the Max Kade Foundation of New York. Its
co-directors, Francis Gentry and A.G. Roeber view its primary mission as
providing a forum for scholarly research on the many facets of history and
culture that constitute the German-speaking experience in North America,
particularly for the period up to the 1820s.
In addition to the above conference, other activities currently being
sponsored by the Institute include a joint venture with New York University
and the University of Goettingen on an edition of the papers of Jacob
Leisler. This project also provides a link between the Institute and the
Committee on Early Modern Studies, an interdisciplinary group of faculty
and students supported by the Humanities Consortium Initiative of the
College of the Liberal Arts.
The Institute looks forward to many years of facilitating research into
early American history as well as providing a forum for contacts among
colleagues in this country and abroad who are interested in all facets of
the ever evolving relationship between Germany and the United States.
Max Kade Institute, 304 Burrowes Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802
Fax: 814-863-9537 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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