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Men of SilkThe Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish Society$
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Glenn Dynner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195175226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195175226.001.0001

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Warsaw and the Patrons of Polish Hasidism

Warsaw and the Patrons of Polish Hasidism

(p.89) 3 Warsaw and the Patrons of Polish Hasidism
Men of Silk

Glenn Dynner (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The successful Hasidic ascendancy of the prior chapter is, in great part, attributable to Polish Hasidism's vast patronage network among the region's Jewish mercantile elite. The chapter commences with an account of the rise of the Jewish mercantile elite in Warsaw. This is followed by a reconstruction of the penetration of this elite group by Hasidic leaders, with a focus on the preeminent mercantile family, the Bergsons. This includes an in-depth look at the legendary patroness of Polish Hasidism, Temerel Sonenberg-Bergson. A fresh analysis of the 1824 anti-Hasidic investigation is presented, based on new archival sources, highlighting the pivotal role of the Jewish plutocracy. The chapter concludes with an explanation of the appeal that Hasidism held for these entrepreneurs.

Keywords:   Jews, Hasidism, Poland, Eastern Europe, Merchants, Warsaw, Bergson, Temerel Sonenberg-Bergson, Szmul Zbytkower, 1824 investigation

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