Adam Teller on the Great Jewish Refugee Crisis of the Seventeenth Century

MAY 07, 2021 | 10:00 AM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


Event presented online


May 07, 2021: 10:00 AM




The Center for Jewish Studies


Please join us for a conversation between Adam Teller and Nicholas Terpstra on Adam Teller's recent book Rescue the Surviving Souls: The Great Jewish Refugee Crisis of the Seventeenth Century (Princeton University Press, 2020)

Rescue the Surviving Souls examines the great international refugee crisis that resulted from the mid-seventeenth-century wars in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources in twelve languages, Adam Teller traces the entire course of the crisis, shedding fresh light on the refugee experience and the various relief strategies developed by the major Jewish centers of the day. Teller pays particular attention to those thousands of Jews sent for sale on the slave markets of Istanbul and the extensive transregional Jewish economic network that coalesced to ransom them. He also explores how Jewish communities rallied to support the refugees, doing everything possible to help them overcome their traumatic experiences and rebuild their lives.

Adam Teller is Professor of History and Judaic Studies at Brown University. An early modern historian specializing in the history of the Jews in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, he is the author, among other monographs, of Money, Power, and Influence in Eighteenth-Century Lithuania: The Jews on the Radziwiłł Estates (Stanford University Press, 2016) and the co-editor of several volumes, including most recently Purchasing Power: The Economics of Modern Jewish History (Penn Press, 2015).

Nicholas Terpstra is Professor of History at the University of Toronto. His research investigates the intersection of politics, religion, gender, and charity in Renaissance Italy, and his more recent work is focused on early modern refugees and digital mapping. He is the author of five books and the editor of numerous volumes. His most recent monograph is Religious Refugees in the Early Modern World: An Alternative History of the Reformation (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY