UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies


The Jewish Press of Czernovitz

This project, in the amount of £380,007 over a period of five years, is entitled "Towards a New Cultural History of Czernovitz: The Jewish Press, 1918-1940". It is a collaboration between Susan Marten Finnes, a German and Yiddish specialist from Queens University, Belfast, and Ada Rapoport-Albert of UCL, combining the expertise and resources of their two respective departments. The project focuses on a period, between the two World Wars, in which Czernovitz generated intense, largely Jewish, cultural activity in German, Yiddish, Hebrew, and to some extent also Romaninan (Nowadays in the Ukraine, at the start of the project"s period Czernovitz had just become part of the Bukovina province of Romania, having previously belonged to the Habsburg Empire). The project will fund two new PhD dissertations and a full time Research Fellow, to collect hitherto unexplored archival holdings of the Jewish community in Czernovitz, and to study the Jewish press published at the time in all four languages. It proposes to demonstrate that far from the prevailing, somewhat idealised and romanticised picture of harmonious co-existence between diverse linguistic, religious and ethnic groups in inter-War Czernovitz, the community was in fact divided by heated ideological and religious conflicts, and these contributed in no small measure to its remarkable cultural dynamism and creativity.