Aviya Doron


Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry

Subject: Risk and Trust in Jewish-Christian economic interactions in the German Empire (1280-1420)

Supervisor: Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten

Abstract: Living together in close quarters in the urban environments of the German Empire, Jews and Christians relied on business transactions with each other to sustain themselves. At the same time, Jewish-Christian relations were marked by religious conflict, mutual hostility and, at times, severe violence. Considering this contradictory reality, what factors contributed to sustaining the trust needed for business exchange? My research explores risk and trust in Jewish-Christian economic interactions in the German Empire (1280–1420). The questions at the heart of this research are how risk was conceptualized, experienced and overcome in interreligious personal contacts, and what institutionalized mechanisms governing economic exchange helped build and sustain trust. Combining legal and administrative archival sources in Latin and German with responsa literature, this research draws on institutional economic history, social-network analysis, and the history of daily life. Identifying and understanding mechanisms for evaluating risk and building trust can shed new light on the role of economic incentives in shaping the boundaries between religious conflict and daily economic and social contacts.

Bio: Aviya is a Jerusalem native, where she now resides with her spouse. She was a professional pianist for over fifteen years and served in the IDF as an Outstanding Musician. Following her army service, she began working as a guide in Yad Vashem, where she later became Deputy Director of the Guiding Department. After receiving her undergraduate degree in classical piano performance from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance with honors, Aviya went on to pursue an MA in European Studies at the Hebrew University, writing her MA thesis on the institutional setting of 19th century Germany and its impact on economic activity and innovation. Aviya is currently working on her PhD at the Department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the supervision of Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten, and is a member of the ERC funded project ‘Beyond the Elite: Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe’.


Book Review: “Between Economic Function and Functionality: The Role of English Jews in the Economy of the Medieval Kingdom,” Review of The Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender (Volume I) by Julie L. Mell, Chidushim, 21 (2019): 84-93 [Hebrew] 
“Into the Market and Back Again: Jews, Trust and the Medieval Marketplace,”
Jewish Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Azrieli Scholarship 2020/2021