The café, long a European institution, was also a stimulant and a refuge for European Jewish culture. In cities across Europe, and later in Palestine, Israel, and the United States, Jewish journalists, poets, and thinkers gathered in cafés to socialize, argue, create, and simply to be in a space that welcomed them. In A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture
(NYU Press, 2018), Shachar M. Pinsker
, Professor of Judaic Studies and Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan, provides a rich and detailed portrait of café life in six major centers of Jewish life and thought in the 19th and 20th centuries. The book is a welcome addition to the study of European Jewish thought and culture, and to the understanding of the motive forces behind Jewish creativity during a period that included large-scale emancipation, immigration, and destruction in the Jewish world.
David Gottlieb earned his PhD in the History of Judaism from the University of Chicago in 2018. He serves on the teaching faculty of Claremont Lincoln University, and teaches for Orot: The Center for New Jewish Learning in Chicago.