Rabbis with Inky Fingers: Making 18th Century Hebrew Books
Open Book Target Performance Hall
Wednesday, May 20, 2020; 7–9pm
Free and open to the public
Peer through a newly-opened window into the conditions of early modern Jewish bookmaking! Co-presented by Sabes Jewish Community Center, this lecture will illuminate Hebrew printing in the 18th Century.
Many examples of early modern Hebrew books survive in libraries and collections around the world, but little has been known about the process of their creation. A newly-identified manuscript, which was used in a Jewish printing house in Amsterdam to typeset a Hebrew book in 1739, now provides a rare glimpse into this material world. The lecture traces the story of how the labor of printing brought together Jewish communities across Europe, North Africa, and the Ottoman Empire, linking social, commercial, and intellectual networks through the making of books.
Noam Sienna is a Jewish educator, artist, and PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota in History and Museum Studies, where his work focuses on Jewish culture in the Islamic world from the Middle Ages to the modern period. His dissertation explores the place of books and bookmaking in North African Jewish communities of the 18th and 19th centuries.