Jewish Work and Jewish Identity in the Middle Ages

Date: Nov 08, 2021 - Nov 08, 2021

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Sponsor: Online Learning

Location: Online

Category: Online Learning

Jewish Work and Jewish Identity in the Middle Ages

Part of our fall learning series, “Six Days Shall You Labor”: Perspectives on Work in Jewish Text and Tradition

November 8, 2021, 2:00–3:30 p.m. ET

This session is generously sponsored by Susan and Stan Tenenbaum.

Learn how you can sponsor a Monday learning session. Contact

In the Middle Ages, the Jews were as much identified by their economic roles as they were by their religion. Traditionally, Christian histories emphasized Jews’ association with moneylending, while Jewish histories have tended to depict medieval Jews as scholars, diplomats, and long-distance merchants. Yet while such characterizations of Jewish occupations have enjoyed remarkable popularity, both give an incomplete and misleading portrait of medieval Jewish life.

This session will explore the disconnect between Jewish identity and Jewish work in the medieval world. With JTS alum Dr. Jonathan Ray, Samuel Eig Professor of Jewish Studies, Georgetown University. 

If you have previously registered for another session in this series, your registration admits you to all sessions in the series, and you may attend as many as you’d like. 

About the Series

Many of us spend more time at work than anywhere else over the course of our lives—but are we defined by what we do? In this text-based series, JTS scholars will explore ideas about the meaning of work and rest in Jewish tradition, Jewish social movements around work, as well as the roles that gender, geography, and shifting economic and social circumstances have played in Jews’ professional paths and our understandings of the meaning and value of work. 

Did you know that you can sponsor a learning session to honor a loved one, celebrate an occasion, or commemorate a yahrzeit? To learn more, contact

Note: The Zoom link for this session will be in the confirmation email that you will receive after you register.