Are Jews descendants of Khazars?
Prof. Shaul Stampfer will present his views on the popular theory about the Khazar origins of Ashkenazi Jews. According to this theory, mass conversions to Judaism occurred in the Khazar Kingdom, a state that arose in the early Middle Ages in the territory of present-day Georgia. The descendants of the Khazars are then thought to have settled in Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian lands and become the core of East-Central European Jewry.
The “Khazar” theory has given rise to controversies among historians, sociologists, even geneticists, and has of late entered anti-Semitic discourse.
Shaul Stampfer is Professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a scholar of East European Jewry specializing in the history of Lithuanian yeshivas and Jewish demographics.
The lecture is part of the Old and New Questions in Jewish History series.