Focusing on the period spanning the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century, this talk explores the special place German-Jewish culture accorded medieval Spanish Jewry. Efron seeks to explain how the claims about the superiority of Sephardic aesthetics became a constitutive element of modern German-Jewish self-fashioning.

About the Speaker:  John Efron is the Koret Professor of Jewish History at the University of California at Berkeley, where specializes in the cultural and social history of German Jewry. A native of Melbourne, Australia, he has a B.A. from Monash University and earned a Ph.D. at Columbia University. In his work, Efron has focused on the way German Jewry attempted to reinterpret and reinvent Jewish culture in the wake of its complex encounter with modernity. He has just completed German Jewry and the Allure of the Sephardic, a study of modern German Jewry’s attraction to the aesthetics of medieval Sephardic Jewry (Princeton University Press). He is currently at work on a new book entitled, A Sensory History of German Jewry.


John M. Efron

(UC Berkeley)

Moderator: Todd Presner (UCLA)

Sponsored By:
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Cosponsored By:
UCLA Department of Germanic Languages