About the Project

Beyond the Elite is a multifaceted research project that seeks to explore what daily life was like for the Jews of northern France and Germany (Ashkenaz) from 1100 to 1350.

Beyond the Elite broadens its gaze, looking past the upper echelons of Jewish society to understand and describe the textures and constructs that made up the lives of the “ordinary” members of these communities.

Our collaborative and interdisciplinary team makes use of methodologies borrowed from fields such as sociology, archaeology, and art history, in addition to more traditional historical methods, to study a variety of quotidian practices and aspects of social and religious life for the Jewish communities of medieval northern Europe.

Our goal is to add significantly to extant research on the lives led by the Jews of these communities and better understand the ways they created, manifested and negotiated their religious identity in their medieval Christian environments.

Led by Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten, this project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 681507).