A new special issue of the journal Jewish Culture and History focuses on the intersection between Business history and Jewish studies. As pointed out by guest editors Benito Peix Geldart, Maja Hultman and Anders Houltz in the Introduction, the five included articles discuss different expressions of Jewish entrepreneurship and economic activities, and their effects and constraints, in modern Europe.
The authors explore the correlation between Jewish businesses and local, national and European developments, ask how Europe’s historical relationship to Jews affected the everyday running of a Jewish business, and discuss how the business itself was used as a platform for cultural navigations with non-Jewish majorities. In other words, they provide examples of how businesses, apart from their role for economic survival and success, were activated for social and cultural purposes, and thus provide a window into the concrete reality of Jewish responses to, and participation in, a Europe with changing political, socio-cultural, and national landscapes.
The theme issue is based on papers presented during a two-day digital workshop organised on November 24–25, 2021, by the Research Department at the Centre for Business History and the Centre for European Research at the University of Gothenburg.
Articles included in the special issue:
- “Introduction: Jews, Europe, and the Business of Culture” by Maja Hultman, Centre for European Research/Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg, Benito Peix Geldart and Anders Houltz, both Centre for Business History in Stockholm.
- “The Great Jewish Transformation: The Marketplace and the Jewish Experience from Pre-Emancipation to the Post-Holocaust Period” by Gideon Reuveni, Weidenfeld Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Sussex.
- “Letters of Loss and Urgency: Jewish Refugee Industrialists, Business Networks and Pathways of Rescue” by Trisha Oakley Kessler, Woolf Institute, University of Cambridge.
- “The Amsterdam Diamond ‘Marketplace’ and the Jewish Experience” by Karin Hofmeester, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam and University of Antwerp.
- “Jewish Migration and the Development of the Swedish and Finnish Garment Industry” by Laura Ekholm, Political history, University of Helsinki.
- “Berlin Jews, Business, and Bourgeois Feminism 1890-1914: Commerce and the Making of a Cultural Moment?” by Angelina Palmén, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oxford.