Haskalah (häˌskəläˈ) [key], [Heb., = enlightenment] Jewish movement in Europe active from the 1770s to the 1880s. Beginning in Germany in the circle of the German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and spreading to Galicia and Russia, the Haskalah called for increased secularization of Jewish life through secular learning, a concern for esthetics, and linguistic assimilation (especially in Germany), all in the cause of speeding Jewish emancipation. The proponents of the Haskalah ( maskilim ) established schools and published periodicals and other works. By publishing in Hebrew, they contributed to the revival of the language.
See J. Katz, Tradition and Crisis (1961).