Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement

A Partnership between the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion,
Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation, & USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture

Economics & Judaism



Jewish Economic History
  • Jewish_Economic_History.pdf The transition away from agriculture into crafts and trade among Jews was the outcome of their widespread literacy prompted by a religious and educational reform in Judaism in the first and second centuries C.E.
  • History of Jews and Money-lending Ever increasing tax burdens on Jews as well as the relatively large profits to be made with virtually no risk encouraged Jews to engage in moneylending during the Middle Ages
  • From Peddling to Department Stores Early Jewish immigrants to the United States often earned their living as wandering peddlers. As the economy developed, peddling tranformed naturally into small shopkeeping and eventually department stores


Judaism and Socialism
  • Karl Marx Born into a Jewish family, Marx left Jewish tradition but was deeply influence by Jewish socialists in the development of his theories on class and communism
  • History of Jews and Socialism 1700-1948 This article explores the prominence of Jewish in European socialist movements
  • Jewish Socialism in America until 1914 American Jewish Socialism arose in the 1880s with mass Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe. Jewish American immigrants turned to Socialism in response to their experiences on both sides of the Atlantic
  • Jewish Socialism in America 1914-1948 As the 1920s began, American Jewish Socialism was a powerful movement. But it soon experienced a number of setbacks: In 1919-1920, in reaction to both Socialist opposition to World War I and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, a wave of anti-radical hysteria swept the country


Jewish Business Ethics
  • Jewish Ethics in Business A concern for ethical business practices is among the highest priorities of Jewish legal literature.

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