Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Heritage Civilization and the Jews
About the Series Historical Timeline Resources Lesson Plans Episodes
sidecurve1 Roads from the Ghetto
sidecurve2
sidecurve3
Interactive Presentation
Interactive Atlas
Historical Documents
Video Resources
 
SynagogueOranieburgerstrasse Synagogue
The ideas of the Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment, and the prospect of being accepted socially by the non-Jewish world encouraged Jews to reconcile the practices of Judaism with the demands of modern life. German and Austrian Jews started a Reform movement which conceived of Judaism as an evolving religion. In 1866, the Jews of Berlin built a large, modern synagogue in a prominent area of the city, the largest synagogue in the world at that time. The synagogue served the growing community, which included traditional as well as Reform Jews.

Explore the exterior and interior of the New Synagogue in Berlin. This presentation requires Macromedia Flash.
Shtetl Life and Culture
Shtetl Life The Jews who lived in shtetls, or market towns, and villages in Eastern Europe created a distinctive culture, which drew not only from Jewish tradition, but also from their everyday environment and the folkways of their neighbors. Synagogues were built in the local style with local techniques, klezmer musicians borrowed from gypsy music, and ritual objects reflected the style of local folk art.

Sample the sights, sounds, and tastes of shtetl life.
ZionismZionism
In the late 19th century, the Zionist movement transformed the age-old Jewish longing for Zion, or Jerusalem, into a political program for attaining a Jewish national home. Zionists believed that the Diaspora was at the root of the problems of world Jewry. For them, the way forward lay in awakening Jewish nationalism and reviving Jewish autonomy. Organized Zionism was a diverse movement, with a variety of political and philosophical outlooks.

Investigate the different streams of Zionist thought.

About the Series    |   Historical Timeline   |   Resources   |    Lesson Plans   |   Episodes