Solomon Schechter’s Life and Legacy: A Jewish Scholar in Victorian England (1882 - 1901)

22 November 2015

Divinity School, St John's College Cambridge

Summary

2015 marks the centenary of the death of Solomon Schechter (b. 1847), one of the most transformative figures in late 19th- and early 20th- century Jewish scholarship and cultural life in Britain and the United States. To explore Schechter’s life and work, and to reflect upon his intellectual and cultural legacy on both sides of the Atlantic, CRASSH and the Herbert D. Katz Center of the University of Pennsylvania have joined forces to convene a pair of conferences, one in Philadelphia, the other in Cambridge.

The centenary of Schechter’s passing takes place at a moment of maturity of the historiography of the worlds in which Schechter played a pioneering role: the historical study of Judaism, Geniza-studies, 19th-century Anglo-Jewry and early 20th-century American Jewish history. As such, it presents a particularly opportune moment to think critically about Schechter’s work and its afterlife in the numerous domains of Jewish learning to which he devoted himself. With the additional support of organizations and foundations in England and the US, both occasions will bring together leading scholars from Israel, Europe and the US, including several from the institutions in which Schechter worked and thrived. Together the two conferences aim to bring into sharper focus our understanding of a pioneer of Jewish erudition and education.

For administrative assistance regarding this conference, please contact bible@crassh.cam.ac.uk

Convenor

Theodor Dunkelgrün, University of Cambridge

Accommodation in Cambridge

We are unable to arrange or book accommodation for non-invited speakers and delegates, however, the following websites may be of help:

Visit Cambridge

Cambridge Rooms

University of Cambridge Accommodation Service

Sponsors

Co-sponsored by St John's College, University of Cambridge, and by the Jewish Historical Society of England.

​The organisers acknowledge funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ ERC grant agreement no 295463.

Sunday 22 November

9am

Registration

9.30 - 9.40

Introduction

Theodor Dunkelgrün (University of Cambridge)

Panel I: Schechter and Cambridge - Biographical Reflections

9.40 - 10.00

Schechter and Cambridge 

Nicholas de Lange (University of Cambridge)

10.00 - 10.45

Schechter and Cambridge Presbyterians

Janet Soskice (University of Cambridge)

10.45 - 11.15

Coffee and tea

Panel II: Antiquity, the Bible and the Prayer Book

11.15 - 12.00

Schechter and Liturgy

Stefan Reif (University of Cambridge)

12.00 - 12.45

Schechter and William Robertson Smith

Bernard Maier (University of Tübingen)

12.45 - 13.45

Lunch break

Panel III: Medieval and Early Modern Jewish History

13.45 - 14.30

Schechter and Non-Geniza Rabbinic Literature from Medieval Europe 

Ephraim Kanarfogel (Yeshiva University)

14.30 - 15.15

Schechter and Safed 

Elchanan Reiner (Tel Aviv University)

15.15 - 15.45

Tea and Coffee

Panel IV: Scholarship and religious thought: Berlin, Cambridge and beyod

15.45 - 16.30

Schechter's Eye for the Extraordinary Ben Outhwaite (University of Cambridge)

16.30 - 17.15

Leopold Zunz's influence on Solomon Schechter Ismar Schorsch (The Jewish Theological Seminary of America)

17.15 - 18.00

Schechter as Theologian

David Starr (Brandeis University)

18.00 - 19.00

Reception in the atrium of the Old Divinity School