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Allgemeine Zeitung Des Judentums


ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG DES JUDENTUMS (azj, "General Journal of Judaism"), one of the first modern and certainly the most important of German Jewish periodicals of the 19th century. The azj was published in Leipzig and later in Berlin between 1837 and 1922. In 1860, the journal had a circulation of about 1,500 copies. It was read not only in Germany, Austria, and Holland, but also in Eastern Europe. Its success enabled it to be independent of subsidies from public bodies as well as to publish monographs by scholars such as I.M. Jost, S.D. Luzzatto, L. Zunz, A. Geiger, A. Jellinek, and Franz Delitzsch. The founder, Ludwig *Philippson, edited the paper from 1837 to 1889. During the first two years the azj was published thrice weekly, in 1839 twice weekly, then weekly, and finally only once every two weeks.

The azj advocated moderate religious reform and closer relations with non-Jews. It prompted the convention of the Rabbinical Conferences of 1844–46, the Reform Synod at Leipzig in 1869, and the establishment of the Lehranstalt fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin. However, its columns were open to varying views. After the adherents of other ideological trends in Central European Jewry established their own periodicals from the middle of the 19th century, the azj ceased to reflect the moderate view. A most important contribution to Jewish life in Central Europe was made through the journal's efforts to foster and spread "Jewish" belle-lettres. While ignoring the more realistic genre of "village and ghetto tales" (e.g., by Berthold *Auerbach), Philippson focused on historic and heroic texts to stress the "ideal" aspects of Jewish life. The journal was instrumental in the establishment and support of the Institut zur Foerderung der Israelitischen Literatur in the late 1850s. In 1866, Philippson's Juedisches Familienblatt with its literary content was integrated into the feuilleton of the azj.

Following Gabriel Riesser's paper Der Jude (1832–35), the azj understood itself as the main organ of the Jewish emancipation movement in the 19th century. Despite the political reaction after the 1848 revolution, it continued the battle. After the foundation of the German Reich, when full legal rights were achieved, the fight against antisemitism became the main focus of the azj. With the rise of Zionism, the journal declined in importance. Under the editorship of Gustav *Karpeles (1890–1909), its interests shifted towards the Jews of Eastern Europe and their situation. When Ludwig *Geiger took over (1910–1919), the journal assumed an anti-Zionist and anti-Orthodox position. Albert Katz (1858–1923), initially in charge of the supplement for communal affairs, became editor in 1919. In 1922, the azj finally merged with the *C.V.-Zeitung.

The azj is available at add. bibliography: C.V.-Zeitung 16, No. 18 (May 6, 1937); J. Philippson, "The Philippsons, a German-Jewish Family 1775–1933," in: lbiyb 7 (1962), 95–118; ibid., "Ludwig Philippson und die Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums," in: H. Liebeschütz and A. Paucker (eds.), Das Judentum in der Deutschen Umwelt, 18001850 (1977), 243–91; M. Eliav, "Philippsons Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums und Erez Israel," in: Bull lbi 46–47 (1969), 155–82; H.O. Horch, Auf der Suche nach der juedischen Erzaehlliteratur (1985); idem, "Auf der Zinne der Zeit," in: Bull LBI 86 (1990), 5–21.

[Ezriel Carlebach and

Robert Weltsch /

Marcus Pyka and

Johannes Valentin Schwarz (2nd ed.)]

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