Rachel L. Greenblatt


Rachel L. Greenblatt’s research focuses on the cultural history of Jews in Early Modern Europe, with particular interest in modes of self-representation, communal memory and the relationship between history and memory. Her book, To Tell Their Children: Jewish Communal Memory in Early Modern Prague (Stanford University Press, 2014) incorporates a wide variety of material and textual sources, by and from women and men, of different social classes and inclinations, in reconstructing the ways in which Prague’s early modern Jews told their own stories of their communal past and familial histories.  A similar methodological approach continues into her current project, the topic of this year’s research, “’A Beautiful and Costly Procession’: Jewish Street in Imperial Celebration.”  In this project, focused on the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, celebrations conducted by Jewish communities in Central Europe in honor of Habsburg royalty serve as a prism through which to view ways in which those communities used, appropriated, perhaps even “Judaized” Christian urban spaces in which they lived.
Rachel earned her Ph.D. in Jewish History at the Hebrew University, and returned to the U.S. to teach at Harvard beginning in 2006.  She has taught on a wide range of topics, including surveys of Jewish history, women and gender in medieval and early modern Europe, and Jews in American television.  She has lectured and participated in conferences in the Czech Republic, Germany and Israel.  A Czech translation of To Tell Their Children is under preparation, and her articles and entries appear in the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook and Jewish Culture and History, the YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe and the Cambridge Dictionary of Jewish Religion, History and Culture.

Here is Larry Wolff’s book review from The Times Literary Supplement of  Rachel L. Greenblatt’s book  “TO TELL THEIR CHILDREN Jewish communal memory in early modern Prague”