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Jonathan Hirsch

Selma Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg, Universität Potsdam

Selma Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg
Sophienstraße 22 a
10178 Berlin
+49 30 2093-66325

Jonathan Hirsch is a Ph.D. student at the Selma Stern Center for Jewish Studies in Berlin and at University Potsdam. He conducts his research under the supervision of Prof. Sina Rauschenbach and partakes in the research group "Jewish-Jewish Encounters in the Ottoman Empire" under the direction of Dr. Susanne Härtel (PostDoc). He completed his Master’s degree in Jewish Studies/Theology at the University of Potsdam in 2018 with a thesis on ‘Messianism in Times of a Progressive World History - 19th Century Reform Judaism and the Messianic Idea in the Light of Concepts of Geschichtsphilosophie.’ His research interests include modern Jewish history, Jews in colonial societies, Jewish-Muslim relations, religion, secularism and the modern nation-state.

His Ph.D. project examines historiographic efforts of the Jewish community in interwar Egypt as an attempt to facilitate the accommodation of the local Jewry to their homeland (Egyptianization or tamṣir). Taking into account the absence of the community’s biggest archive, the Cairo Geniza, the study also examines the conversation of Jewish-Egyptian knowledge production (via lectures, publications, newspaper articles) with local Egyptian and international Jewish historical scholarship. The broader aim of his project is to explore the positioning of the Jews within Egypt’s colonial modernity, between European ideas and influence, Zionism and emerging local nationalist visions via the modern practice of history writing.

  • Research Interests:

    • Modern Jewish Diaspora history
    • Religion and secularism in Modernity
    • Arab/Muslim-Jewish encounters
    • Jews in colonial societies
    • Trans-national history