In Gender and American Jews, Harriet Hartman and Moshe Hartman interpret the results of the two most recent National Jewish Population Surveys. Building on their critical work in Gender Equality and American Jews (1996), and drawing on relevant sociological work on gender, religion, and secular achievement, this new book brings their analysis of gendered patterns in contemporary Jewish life right to the present moment. The first part of the book examines the distinctiveness of American Jews in terms of family behavior, labor-force patterns, and educational and occupational attainment. The second investigates the interrelationships between “Jewishness” and religious, economic, and family behavior, including intermarriage. Deploying an engaging assortment of charts and graphs and a rigorous grasp of statistics, the Hartmans provide a multifaceted portrait of a multidimensional population.
The very question of “what do Jews think about the goyim” has fascinated Jews and Gentiles, anti-Semites and philo-Semites alike. Much has been written about immigrant Jews in nineteenth- and twentieth-century New York City, but Gil Ribak’s critical look at the origins of Jewish liberalism in America provides a more complicated and nuanced picture of the Americanization process.
Gentile New York examines these newcomers’ evolving feelings toward non-Jews through four critical decades in the American Jewish experience. Ribak considers how they perceived Gentiles in general as well as such different groups as “Yankees” (a common term for WASPs in many Yiddish sources), Germans, Irish, Italians, Poles, and African Americans. As they discovered the complexity of America’s racial relations, the immigrants found themselves at odds with “white” American values or behavior and were drawn instead into cooperative relationships with other minorities. Sparked with many previously unknown anecdotes, quotations, and events, Ribak’s research relies on an impressive number of memoirs, autobiographies, novels, newspapers, and journals culled from both sides of the Atlantic.
German and Jewish ways of life have been interwoven in Worms, Germany, for over a thousand years. Despite radical changes brought about by expulsion of Jews, wartime devastation, social advancement, cultural and religious renewal, and the Jewish community’s destruction during the Holocaust, the Jewish sites of Worms display a remarkable degree of continuity, which has contributed to the development of distinct urban Jewish cultures, memories, and identities. Tracing the recollection and invention of local Jewish historical traditions in religious commemorations, historical writings, museums, and historical monuments, and the transformation from “sites” to “sights” in the form of tourism from the Middle Ages to the present, Roemer’s rich study of Worms offers a blueprint for historians interested in developing similar studies of cities over the longue durée.
Originally published in 1970, Germans and Jews brings together George L. Mosse’s thoughts on a critical time in German history when thinkers on both the left and the right shared a common goal. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, intellectuals across the political spectrum aimed to solve the problems of contemporary society by creating a force that would eliminate both state Marxism and bourgeois society: a “third force” beyond communism and capitalism. This pervasive turn in ideology had profound effects on German history. In Mosse’s reading, left-wing political efforts became increasingly unrelated to reality, while the right finally discovered in fascism the force it had been seeking.
This innovative perspective has implications for understanding not only the rise of fascism and Nazism in Germany but also the rise and fall of the New Left in the United States and Europe, which was occurring at the time of Mosse’s writing. A new critical introduction by Sarah Wobick-Segev, research associate at the University of Hamburg, places Mosse’s work in its historical and intellectual contexts and draws lessons for students and scholars today.
Glikl: Memoirs 1691-1719
Annotated by and with an Introduction by Chava Turniansky Brandeis University Press, 2019
Dewey Decimal 943.515004924009
“My dear children, I write this for you in case your dear children or grandchildren come to you one of these days, knowing nothing of their family. For this reason I have set this down for you here in brief, so that you might know what kind of people you come from.”
These words from the memoirs Glikl bas Leib wrote in Yiddish between 1691 and 1719 shed light on the life of a devout and worldly woman. Writing initially to seek solace in the long nights of her widowhood, Glikl continued to record the joys and tribulations of her family and community in an account unique for its impressive literary talents and strong invocation of self. Through intensely personal recollections, Glikl weaves stories and traditional tales that express her thoughts and beliefs. While influenced by popular Yiddish moral literature, Glikl’s frequent use of first person and the significance she assigns her own life experience set the work apart. Informed by fidelity to the original Yiddish text, this authoritative new translation is fully annotated to explicate Glikl’s life and times, offering readers a rich context for appreciating this classic work.
Glorious, Accursed Europe
Jehuda Reinharz and Yaacov Shavit Brandeis University Press, 2010 Library of Congress DS135.E83S5413 2010 | Dewey Decimal 305.892404
This volume offers a fascinating look at the complex relationship between Jews and Europe during the past two hundred years, and how the European Jewish and non-Jewish intelligentsia interpreted the modern Jewish experience, primarily in Germany, Russia, and Central and Eastern Europe. Beginning with premodern European attitudes toward Jews, Reinharz and Shavit move quickly to “the glorious nineteenth century,” a period in which Jewish dreams of true assimilation came up against modern antisemitism. Later chapters explore the fin-de-siècle “crisis of modernity”; the myth of the modern European Jew; expectations and fears in the interwar period; differences between European nations in their attitude toward Jews; the views of Zionists and early settlers of Palestine and Israel toward the Europe left behind; and views of contemporary Israeli intellectuals toward Europe, including its new Muslim population—the latest incarnation of the Jewish Question in Europe.
Broadway musicals are one of America’s most beloved art forms and play to millions of people each year. But what do these shows, which are often thought to be just frothy entertainment, really have to say about our country and who we are as a nation?
Now in a new second edition, The Great White Way is the first book to reveal the racial politics, content, and subtexts that have haunted musicals for almost one hundred years from Show Boat (1927) to Hamilton (2015). This revised edition includes a new introduction and conclusion, updated chapters, as well as a brand-new chapter that looks at the blockbuster musicals The Book of Mormon and Hamilton.
Musicals mirror their time periods and reflect the political and social issues of their day. Warren Hoffman investigates the thematic content of the Broadway musical and considers how musicals work on a structural level, allowing them to simultaneously present and hide their racial agendas in plain view of their audiences. While the musical is informed by the cultural contributions of African Americans and Jewish immigrants, Hoffman argues that ultimately the history of the American musical is the history of white identity in the United States.
Presented chronologically, The Great White Way shows how perceptions of race altered over time and how musicals dealt with those changes. Hoffman focuses first on shows leading up to and comprising the Golden Age of Broadway (1927–1960s), then turns his attention to the revivals and nostalgic vehicles that defined the final quarter of the twentieth century. He offers entirely new and surprising takes on shows from the American musical canon—Show Boat (1927), Oklahoma! (1943), Annie Get Your Gun (1946), The Music Man (1957), West Side Story (1957), A Chorus Line (1975), and 42nd Street (1980), among others. In addition to a new chapter on Hamilton and The Book of Mormon, this revised edition brings The Great White Way fully into the twenty-first century with an examination of jukebox musicals and the role of off-Broadway and regional theaters in the development of the American musical.
New archival research on the creators who produced and wrote these shows, including Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, and Edward Kleban, will have theater fans and scholars rethinking forever how they view this popular American entertainment.
Growing Up Ethnic examines the presence of literary similarities between African American and Jewish American coming-of-age stories in the first half of the twentieth century; often these similarities exceed what could be explained by sociohistorical correspondences alone. Martin Japtok argues that these similarities result from the way both African American and Jewish American authors have conceptualized their "ethnic situation." The issue of "race" and its social repercussions certainly defy any easy comparisons. However, the fact that the ethnic situations are far from identical in the case of these two groups only highlights the striking thematic correspondences in how a number of African American and Jewish American coming-of-age stories construct ethnicity. Japtok studies three pairs of novels--James Weldon Johnson's Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man and Samuel Ornitz's Haunch, Paunch and Jowl, Jessie Fauset's Plum Bun and Edna Ferber's Fanny Herself, and Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones and Anzia Yezierska's Bread Giver--and argues that the similarities can be explained with reference to mainly two factors, ultimately intertwined: cultural nationalism and the Bildungsroman genre. Growing Up Ethnic shows that the parallel configurations in the novels, which often see ethnicity in terms of spirituality, as inherent artistic ability, and as communal responsibility, are rooted in nationalist ideology. However, due to the authors' generic choice--the Bildungsroman--the tendency to view ethnicity through the rhetorical lens of communalism and spiritual essence runs head-on into the individualist assumptions of the protagonist-centered Bildungsroman. The negotiations between these ideological counterpoints characterize the novels and reflect and refract the intellectual ferment of their time. This fresh look at ethnic American literatures in the context of cultural nationalism and the Bildungsroman will be of great interest to students and scholars of literary and race studies.