Jewish History Nerds

Jewish History Nerds

Whoever said history was boring clearly never heard these stories…Welcome to Jewish History Nerds! Join hosts Yael and Schwab each week as they take a dive into some deep cuts of Jewish history. From the Jewish Da Vinci Code to mass suicide pacts, explore true stories that feel larger than life. Be in touch: nerds@jewishunpacked.com

Episodes

March 14, 2024 35 mins
Jewish History Nerds survey Ever wonder about the Jewish kings beyond David and Solomon? Join Yael and Schwab as they uncover the intriguing story of a lesser-known monarch from 5th century Yemen. Delve into the complex history of Yosef Dhu Nuwas, a Jewish convert who ascended to the throne of the ancient kingdom of Himyar. This episode was hosted by Jonathan Schwab and Yael Steiner. Our education lead is Dr. Henry Abramson. Audio ...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Have you ever felt the need to reinvent yourself? To break free from the constraints of expectations and redefine your own path? Join Yael and Schwab as they explore the legacy of Bertha Pappenheim, aka Sigmund Freud's Anna O, a remarkable Jewish woman who defied societal norms and transcended the confines of her diagnosis. From her pioneering advocacy for women's rights to her profound influence on psyc...
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February 29, 2024 27 mins
Jewish History Nerds survey You may have heard of some of the greats of rabbinic history. But even if you've heard of Rav Sa'adia Gaon, you probably don't know his wild story. Join Yael and Schwab as they dive into the Gaonic era and find out what's so special about this transitional figure. This episode was hosted by Jonathan Schwab and Yael Steiner. Our education lead is Dr. Henry Abramson. Audio was edited by Rob Pera, and we’re...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Forget philosophers and historians, welcome to the world of Glikl, an ordinary yet extraordinary Jewish woman from 18th-century Germany. Join Yael and Schwab to explore the diary of Glikl, as she candidly shares her personal struggles and triumphs, offering a profound glimpse into the human experience, with an authenticity and vulnerability that still resonates today. This episode was hosted by Jonathan ...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Lately it seems all anyone can talk about is... Zionism. But what even is Zionism? Jump into the world of Revisionist Zionist leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky, exploring his unique, and somewhat paradoxical, vision of zionism and a Jewish homeland: a delicate balance of strength and diplomacy. Join Yael and Schwab as they explore Jabotinsky's divergence from 'mainstream' Zionism, his advocacy for territorial ...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Join Yael and Schwab as they delve into the world of 18th-century Jewish mysticism through the life of Hillel Ba'al Shem and his manuscript "Sefer HaCheshek." Exploring failed miracles and comedic exorcisms with humor and humility, they contrast Hillel's legacy with the revered Ba'al Shem Tov, uncovering profound philosophical insights and historical context, from Kabbalah to controversies surrounding fi...
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February 1, 2024 34 mins
Jewish History Nerds survey Embark on a captivating journey through the extraordinary life of Devorah Romm, a pioneering businesswoman in 19th-century Lithuania, who reshaped the literary landscape of Eastern European Jewish communities. Whether breaking copyright rules, crafting the opulent Vilna Shas, implementing a groundbreaking business strategy, or obtaining rare manuscripts from the Vatican, Devorah was unafraid of taking ch...
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January 25, 2024 39 mins
Jewish History Nerds survey Welcome to Ludmir, Ukraine. The year is 1806, and the revolutionary Hannah Rachel Vermermacher, also known as the Maiden of Ludmir, is shaking up the traditional Jewish world. Born into affluence, Hannah Rachel's life took a transformative turn, leading her to embrace the role of a Hasidic rabbi, or rebbe. Despite facing objections and rumors, she chose an independent path, attracting followers seeking h...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Moses Mendelssohn faced the intricate challenges of being a Jew in an enlightened European setting. Despite impactful contributions, his legacy includes challenges faced by his family and questions about the long-term impact of his ideas on Jewish identity. Join Schwab and Yael as they explore the complex story of Moses Mendelssohn, and delve into the intricacies of Jewish identity. This episode was host...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Meet Heinrich Graetz, the trailblazing historian who transformed Jewish history. Born into 19th-century Germany, Graetz challenged norms and bridged the gap between Orthodox and academic worlds. Join us as we unravel Graetz's legacy and explore the evolving landscape of Jewish identity through his groundbreaking work. In this episode, hosts Schwab and Yael explore the life and pioneering work of 19th-cen...
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January 4, 2024 2 mins
We’re back for Season 3. We’ll still be unpacking awesome stories, dialing up the nerdiness, and leaning in to Jewish history. Get ready, and brush up on past episodes. Are you ready?
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Jewish History Nerds survey 100 years ago, in Krakow, Poland, Sarah Schenirer changed female Jewish education forever. Explore the extraordinary life of Sarah Schenirer, the pioneering force who fearlessly merged tradition and women's rights in Orthodox Judaism. Uncover her creation of the groundbreaking Beis Yaakov school system, challenging societal norms while upholding Orthodox values. Join us as we delve into the complex legac...
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June 22, 2023 36 mins
Join Yael and Schwab as we unravel the gripping story of a young Jewish boy forcibly taken from his family by the Catholic Church, sparking international outcry and shaping the course of religious tensions. Discover the surprising twists and turns that led Edgardo Mortara to embrace his captors' faith, becoming a devoted Catholic priest with a mission to convert his own people. This episode was hosted by Jonathan Schwab and Yael St...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Schwab and Yael unravel the vibrant tapestry of the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry, an era of remarkable cultural exchange and collaboration between Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Explore the rich history, intellectual achievements, and creative contributions of the Jewish community during this extraordinary period of coexistence in the Iberian Peninsula. Discover the intricate interplay of cultures that sh...
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Jewish History Nerds survey In this gripping episode, join Schwab and Yael as they delve into the extraordinary life of Hannah Szenes, a talented Hungarian poet who defied the Holocaust. From her escape to pre-state Israel to her daring mission behind enemy lines, discover the incredible bravery of a woman who refused to yield to the Nazis. Uncover the untold story of Hannah Szenes and explore the enduring legacy of her unyielding ...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Discovered in the Cairo Geniza, the story of the remarkable exploits of this 11th century trader push the boundaries of what we may have thought was typical of Jewish women in medieval Egypt. But before we even get there, we have to understand what the Cairo Geniza is, and why it helps us to understand Jewish history. This episode was hosted by Jonathan Schwab and Yael Steiner. Our education lead is Dr. ...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Donato Manduzio was just a simple man in an Italian village - until he read the Bible, and began his quest to bring back what he thought was a dead, ancient faith. Not only did Donato embrace Judaism, he convinced several dozen of his fellow villagers in San Nicandro to join him in this spiritual journey. Schwab and Yael explore this wild story and ask, how the heck do we decide not only who is a Jew, bu...
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Jewish History Nerds survey Learn about the bonkers life of Johannes Eisenmenger, a man who spent 19 years under false pretenses within the Jewish community. Over those 19 years, he meticulously studied the Talmud, and eventually wrote a wild 2000-page text about the evils of the Talmud. In this episode, Yael and Schwab explore the personal motives, societal implications, and long-lasting effects of his actions. Join us as we disse...
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You might not be quite as big of a fan of epistolary romances as Yael, but you'll still love the story of Sarra Coppia Sullam. Sullam, a Jewish Venetian woman of 17th century, was most well-known for her literary salons, the public accusations of heresy against her, and most salaciously, her pen pal love affair with the Genoese monk named Ansaldo Cebà. Come for the story, stay for the drama, as Schwab and Yael unpack her incredible...
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Jewish History Nerds survey This week, Schwab and Yael dive into the life and legacy of Emma Goldman, the influential Jewish anarchist activist who made waves in early 20th-century America. Learn about her contributions to the development of feminism and her impact on the American left. Join us as we explore the life of this revolutionary figure who inspired and challenged the status quo. But also, Schwab and Yael ask, what impact ...
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