Jews and Port Cities, 1590-1990: Commerce, Community and Cosmopolitanism

Overview

With studies of Jewish communities in port cities ranging from sixteenth century Livorno to modern Singapore, this book develops and extends the concept of the port Jew using a blend of conceptual innovation and original research. The first section explores the world of the Sephardi Jews, revealing patterns of mobility and networks that intertwined commerce, community and kinship. Individual case histories based on Livorno, Amsterdam, Cura??ao, Charleston, Liverpool, and Bristol examine how Jewish identity was ...
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Overview

With studies of Jewish communities in port cities ranging from sixteenth century Livorno to modern Singapore, this book develops and extends the concept of the port Jew using a blend of conceptual innovation and original research. The first section explores the world of the Sephardi Jews, revealing patterns of mobility and networks that intertwined commerce, community and kinship. Individual case histories based on Livorno, Amsterdam, Curaçao, Charleston, Liverpool, and Bristol examine how Jewish identity was formed in the unique milieu of the cosmopolitan maritime trading centre, how the commercial ethos of the bustling port promoted tolerance, and how the experience of civic inclusion was both a boon and a threat to Jewish life and culture. Challenging research on Charleston and Liverpool shows how slavery cast a shadow over the Jewish population and created an environment of racialized identities in which Jews occupied an ambiguous and ambivalent position. The second section concentrates on the experience of Ashkenazi Jews in the modern era, when the port was less a commercial hub for exchange and more a location of production, transhipment, and transmigration. Jews went from being primarily settlers and traders to becoming commodities in the business of mass migration. A disturbing case study of Hamburg under the Nazis shows that a history of diversity was no guarantor of tolerance. Yet research on Glasgow, with its ethnic and religious fragmentation, shows how far Jews and non Jews in port cities could get along functionally and amicably. All these contributions explore the concepts of diaspora and identity, probe the links between commerce and inter-communal relations, and map the subtle, shifting contours of language, culture, and community in the unique mercantile environment in the world’s greatest ports.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780853036821
  • Publisher: Mitchell Vallentine & Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

'Wings on their feet ... and wings on their head' : reflections on the study of port Jews 14
The port Jews of Livorno and their global networks of trade in the early modern period 31
Port Jews in Copenhagen : the Sephardi experience and its influence on the development of a modern Jewish community in Denmark 49
Networks and communication in the Sephardi diaspora : an added dimension to the concept of port Jews and port Jewries 61
Were merchants more tolerant? : 'Godless patrons of the Jews' and the decline of the Sephardi community in late seventeenth-century Hamburg 77
Identity, space and intercultural contact in the urban Entrepot : the Sephardic bounding of community in early modern Amsterdam and London 93
Trading globally, speaking locally : Curacao's Sephardim in the making of a Caribbean Creole 109
Ethnicity, identity and 'race' : the port Jews of nineteenth century Charleston 123
The Jews of Bristol and Liverpool, 1750-1850 : port Jewish communities in the shadow of slavery 141
The 'Jewish nation' of Livorno : a port Jewry on the road to emancipation 157
The port Jews of Corfu and the 'blood libel' of 1891 : a tale of many centuries and of one event 171
The port Jews of Libau, 1880-1914 197
Jewish and Catholic Irish relations : the Glasgow waterfront c.1880-1914 215
Testing cosmopolitan tolerance : port Jews in Cape Town during the Late Victorian and Edwardian years 235
From Atlantic hotel to Atlantic park : Anglo-America, port Jews and the invisible transmigrant 247
An island of humanity in a sea of barbarism? : Hamburg Jewry during the Nazi period, 1933-45 261
Singapore, Manila and Harbin as reference points for Asian 'port Jewish' identity 271
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