The Council of Lithuanian Jews 1623-1764
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The Council of Lithuanian Jews (Lithuanian Vaad) was the central representative organ of the Jews in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It operated for nearly one and a half centuries (1623-1764), touching all spheres of the Jewish community's life. It undertook important initiatives for the benefit of its constituency at diets and dietines (legislative assemblies of the nobility), at the courts of the King and important magnates, and in non-Jewish courts of law. This book discusses the Council's activities in the context of processes and phenomena present in Jewish society of the time, illustrating the life of Lithuanian Jewry as a separate estate guided by a common sense of identity transcending local affiliation.