Myth vs. Reality
The Maryland Jew Bill in Historical Context
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 7 pm
Speaker: Dr. Eric Goldstein, author of On Middle Ground
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now
JMM Members – Reserve Your Seats
On May 9, Eric L. Goldstein, co-author of On Middle Ground: A History of the Jews of Baltimore, will present a revisionist view of the Maryland Jew Bill, the historic 1826 legislation that altered the state’s oath for office-holders by allowing Jews to swear to their belief in “the doctrine of reward and punishment” rather than to a belief in Christianity.
Goldstein argues that in Baltimore, where almost all Maryland Jews lived, Jews already played significant roles in civic life prior to 1826 that most historians have assumed were off limits to them before the Jew Bill’s passage. Viewed in this context, the bill’s adoption should be understood not so much as the beginning of a dramatic new era in Maryland Jewish history, but as an affirmation and expansion of the important place Baltimore Jews already occupied in their city’s civil culture.”
Following, join us for a book signing of On Middle Ground.
Eric L. Goldstein is the Judith London Evans Director of the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University, where he is also Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies. He is also the author of The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity (Princeton University Press, 2006).
This program is presented in relation to the Amending America: The Bill of Rights exhibit, on display through May 28, 2018.