In the long history of Jews and business, few phenomena have been more formative than Jewish peddling. The Jewish men who went out on the road laden with a jumble of goods, going door-to-door, selling to non-Jewish customers profoundly marked the experiences of both Jews and those who bought from them. In this lecture Hasia Diner explores the contours of this history. She reveals how the practice of peddling changed over centuries, and what its impact has been on the great Jewish migrations out of Europe.
Hasia Diner is the Paul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History and a Professor of Hebrew at New York University. Her areas of interest and research are American Jewish history, American immigration history and women’s history. She is the author of many books including Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlers Who Forged the Way (Yale University Press, 2015).
This lecture is one of a series exploring themes from the exhibition, Jews, Money, Myth at the Jewish Museum London (19 March – 7 July), developed in collaboration with the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism.