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Jacob Katz

KATZ, JACOB (1904–1998), Israeli historian. Born in Magyargencs, Hungary, Katz studied at various yeshivot and at the university of Frankfurt. From 1936 to 1950 he taught at religious schools and the Mizrachi Teachers' Seminary in Jerusalem. From 1950 he taught at the Hebrew University, becoming professor of Jewish social and educational history in 1962. In 1969 he was appointed rector of the Hebrew University. Katz's published works include Toledot Yisrael ve-he-Ammim ("Israel and the Nations," several editions, 1941–62); Maso-ret u-Mashber (1958; Tradition and Crisis, 1961); Exclusiveness and Tolerance (1961); Freemasons and Jews (1970); Emancipation and Assimilation: Studies in Modern Jewish History (1972); Out of the Ghetto: The Social Background of Jewish Emancipation, 17701870 (1973); Toward Modernity: The European Jewish Models (1987). His work is significant for the understanding of the intricate relationships between Jews and gentiles and offers insights into Jewish sociology in medieval and modern times. For his studies he utilized rabbinical sources which had been usually unexplored for historical-sociological research. In 1980 he was awarded the Israel Prize for studies in Jewish history.


J.M. Harris, The Pride of Jacob: Essays on Jacob Katz and His Work (2002).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.