Religious Internationalism in the Jewish Diaspora – Tunis at the Dawn of the Colonial Period

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This chapter deals with the early evolution of Jewish internationalism from the perspective of one of North Africa’s most important Jewish communities – Tunis. Through its history we shall encounter the key centres of the Jewish International, and explore the motivation behind transcommunal action. Western Jewry led the new course in Jewish history, but subsequently new forms of Jewish internationalism sprang up in Eastern Europe: the demographic centre of the Jewish diaspora. How did these initial developments spread to communities in Asia and Africa? How did non-European Jews react to them? And to what extent did they develop their own preferences in modern Jewish transcommunal relations? The story of Tunis’s Jewish community does not provide a general answer to these questions, but it does open a window onto the effect exerted by early Jewish internationalism in non-European communities during the second half of the nineteenth century. Moreover, in this formative period, Tunisia became an arena for Western competition – followed by competition within the Jewish community between the different nationalist orientations of European Jews and their developing intercommunal tools. As a result, a glance at Tunis’s Jewish community illuminates the broader contours of the Jewish International.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series
ISSN (Print)2634-6273
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6281


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation864/09


    • Jewish Community
    • Jewish Education
    • Muslim Rule
    • Reform Model
    • Western Imperialism


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