Question 1 can be on one page and Question 2 on two pages.

Essay should focus on central and western Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for these questions.

Be sure to answer all parts of the questions. In preparing your answers, it is helpful to consider each question from as many angles as relevant (e.g. legal, linguistic, religious, economic, etc.).

Question 1: Some students of Jewish history see Moses Mendelssohn as an intellectual father of Reform Judaism. Others view him as a precursor of Neo-Orthodoxy. With which perspective are you more inclined to agree? In making a case for your position, explain these points of view and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses for these two movements within Judaism in nineteenth century Europe. To help you answer this question, it may be helpful to imagine how Mendelssohn would have reacted to the Hamburg Temple Controversy.

Question 2: Beginning in the late 18th century, the question of the desirability and feasibility of the Jews’ emancipation engendered a fierce debate across Europe.

a) What arguments were made for and against the inclusion of Jews in European society in France and Germany?

b) How did Jews’ legal status change with emancipation? Why did they gain and lose?

c) How did the struggle for emancipation affect Jews’ social, economic, and cultural (including religious life) in Germany?

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