Sacred Bonds of Solidarity: The Rise of Jewish Internationalism in Nineteenth-century France
Stanford University Press, 2006 - 327
Starting around 1840, French Jews began to reach out in new ways to Jews elsewhere, especially in North Africa and the Middle East. In describing these activities, they spoke of feelings of solidarité and a mission to bring civilisation to Jews everywhere, a language more meaningful in the French public arena than in Jewish tradition. Far from a remnant of ancient feelings, Jewish solidarity is a modern phenomenon with roots in its inventors' integration into French political culture. Why did acculturation inspire elite French Jews to affirm their Jewishness through international aid? What did their actions mean in the French public sphere, and how did they transform Jewish identity?
In a book that speaks to French historians and Jewish historians alike, Sacred Bonds of Solidarity explores the historical roots of Jewish international aid and the language of "solidarity" that accompanied it. In using this language, French Jews redefined Jewish identity in lasting ways. At the same time, they helped shape state secularism and the "civilizing mission" in French foreign and colonial policy.
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