The general change in intellectual thinking in Italy at this time created an opening for a pragmatic vision of skepticism and tolerance towards Jews. Between the 1300s and 1500s, the establishment of Jewish “bankers” who were often also scholars, doctors and rabbis constitutes one of the most fascinating themes in the history of Italian Jewry. Their migration to Northern Italy spread rapidly through Umbria, the Marches, and Tuscany, creating communities in areas where Jews had never previously settled with a vigorous cultural, religious and linguistic identity.
What did the Renaissance mean to the Italian Jews of the time?
Lectures in this series will examine the internal structure of the Jewish community and the selective adoption of Renaissance intellectual development, culture and visual art. They will also show how Italian Jews were willing to share their own educational developments with the non-Jewish world and question whether Jewish women at the time were affected by the Renaissance or experienced some level of emancipation themselves.