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Schusterman Center: “A Home for the Homeless? The Jewish Poorhouse of Eastern Europe”
February 10 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pmFree
Dr. Natan Meir from Portland State University will explore the hekdesh (poorhouse), one of the grimmest institutions in East European Jewish society. This ubiquitous establishment, which often doubled as a sick house for the destitute ill, was home to a motley crew of itinerant and local beggars, vagrants, madwomen and madmen, chronically ill people, and poor orphans. We will examine the development of the hekdesh from its origins in the Middle Ages to its modern transformation in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.