On the 14th April, 2016, at 6 p.m. we are cordially inviting you to the opening of the exhibition of old prints titled „The Amsterdam of Polish Jews” which was prepared by JHI’s own Magdalena Bendowska, Ph.d. and professor Jan Doktór.
It will be a unique exhibition presenting connection between the censorship of publications in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth executed by the Jewish Sejm and the development of pressing of books in Hebrew and in Yiddish in Amsterdam against the backdrop of Polish-Dutch economic and cultural relations.
The core of the exhibition is the collection of more than 200 volumes of old printed works from Amsterdam from 17th and 18th century. The authors selected 31 pieces which according to them are the best illustration of the described period of the development of Hebrew printing.
In Amsterdam, the city famous for its liberal editorial policy, where many texts were printed which otherwise would not be printed anywhere else, also Polish Jews were putting out there messianic works. Naphtali Bacharach put out Emek ha-Melech — famous translator of excerpts from Zohar into Yiddish, a heretic, follower of Shabbetai Tzvi — Tavi Hirsh ben Jerachmiel Chotsh, put out his commentary Chemdat Tzvi.
Restrictive regulations of Jewish Council of Four Lands regarding printing of books caused in the late 1700s the demise of Hebrew printing houses operating in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The printers in the Netherlands made the most of this situation and to large extent intercepted production of Jewish books intended for Polish market. Together with Jewish authors, editors, emenders and typesetters coming from Poland printing houses in Amsterdam started printing books on order of Polish Jews. Beginning from the late 1700s Amsterdam became world center of Jewish printing.
In the collections of Jewish Historical Institute there is a collection of more than 200 volumes of old Amsterdam prints from 1700s and 1800s. The authors selected 31 prints which according to them are the best illustration of the period of the development of Hebrew printing.
Honorary Patronage: The Kingdom of the Netherlands
Media Partners: Midrasz, Polskie Radio Program 1, Dzieje.pl