The Amsterdam of Polish Jews

The Amsterdam of Polish Jews

Old Hebrew Printed Works from the Collections of the Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw

Schedule
Duration
Apr 14 – Sep 18
Opening
14th April, 2016, 6 p.m.
Location
Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, 3/5 Tłomackie St.
The Honorary Patron
Kingdom of the Netherlands
Media Patrons
Polish Radio 1, Dzieje.pl, Midrasz

In the second half of the 17th century, Jewish book production in the [Polish-Lithuanian] Commonwealth almost halted. There were many reasons for this. The most important was the restrictive policy followed by the Vaad regarding publications, which by the end of the century had seemingly temporarily banned the printing of Hebrew and Yiddish books in the Commonwealth. The demand for such books did not however disappear in the Commonwealth where the majority of the world’s population of Jews resided. Thus, books began to be imported from abroad, primarily from Amsterdam. Amsterdam then became a drawcard for many Jewish printers, publishers and authors from the Commonwealth, largely due to the wars being waged on its territory. The production of Hebrew and Yiddish books in Amsterdam, intended mainly for distribution in the Commonwealth, continued to develop until the dissolution of the Vaad in 1764. Several Jewish presses were then soon set up in the Commonwealth, printing and publishing practically any work that would find readers at home or abroad.

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