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Jewish American Writing and World Literature by
Writers such as Sholem Asch, Jacob Glatstein, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Anna Margolin, Saul Bellow, and Grace Paley all responded to a demand to write beyond local Jewish and American audiences and toward the world, as a global market and as a transnational ideal. Beyond fame and global circulation, world literature holds up the promise of legibility, in which a threatened origin becomes the site for redemptive literary creativity.
The Jewish Unions in America by
Newly arrived in New York in 1882 from Tsarist Russia, the sixteen-year-old Bernard Weinstein discovered an America in which unionism, socialism, and anarchism were very much in the air. He found a home in the tenements of New York and for the next fifty years he devoted his life to the struggles of fellow Jewish workers.
Kosher USA by
Kosher USA follows the fascinating journey of kosher food through the modern industrial food system. It recounts how iconic products such as Coca-Cola and Jell-O tried to become kosher; the contentious debates among rabbis over the incorporation of modern science into Jewish law; how Manischewitz wine became the first kosher product to win over non-Jewish consumers (principally African Americans); the techniques used by Orthodox rabbinical organizations to embed kosher requirements into food manufacturing; and the difficulties encountered by kosher meat and other kosher foods that fell outside the American culinary consensus.
Carolina Israelite by
This first comprehensive biography of Jewish American writer and humorist Harry Golden (1903-1981)--author of the 1958 national best-seller Only in America--illuminates a remarkable life intertwined with the rise of the civil rights movement, Jewish popular culture, and the sometimes precarious position of Jews in the South and across America during the 1950s.
Beyond Chrismukkah by
The rate of interfaith marriage in the United States has risen so radically since the sixties that it is difficult to recall how taboo the practice once was. How is this development understood and regarded by Americans generally, and what does it tell us about the nation's religious life? Drawing on ethnographic and historical sources, Samira K. Mehta provides a fascinating analysis of wives, husbands, children, and their extended families in interfaith homes; religious leaders; and the social and cultural milieu surrounding mixed marriages among Jews, Catholics, and Protestants.
Gertrude Stein and the Making of Jewish Modernism by
Challenging the assumption that modernist writer Gertrude Stein seldom integrated her Jewish identity and heritage into her work, this book uncovers Stein's constant and varied writing about Jewish topics throughout her career.
Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler by
One of the foremost piano virtuosi of her time, Fannie Bloomfield-Zeisler reliably filled Carnegie Hall. As a "new woman," she simultaneously embraced family life and forged an independent career built around a repertoire of the German music she tirelessly championed.
From the Cincinnati Reds to the Moscow Reds by
This book brings together a lifetime of experiences told by a beloved member of the field of Slavic languages and literature - Irwin Weil. During the Soviet era, Irwin frequently visited and corresponded with outstanding Russian cultural figures, such as Vladimir Nabokov, Korney Chukovsky, and Dmitrii Shostakovich. His deep love of the Russian people and their culture has touched the lives of countless students, in particular at Northwestern University, where he has taught since 1966. It is these stories of an unassuming Jewish American from Cincinnati, Ohio who rubbed shoulders with some of the most prominent thinkers, writers, and musicians in the Soviet Union that are presented for the first time in this volume.
History, Memory, and Jewish Identity by
This volume takes a fresh view of the role representations of the past play in the construction of Jewish identity. Its central theme is that the study of how Jews construct the past can help in interpreting how they understand the nature of their Jewishness. The individual chapters illuminate the ways in which Jews responded to and made use of the past. If Jews' choices of what to include, emphasize, omit, and invent in their representation of the past is a fundamental variable, then this volume contributes to the creation of a more nuanced approach to the construction of the histories of Jews and their thought.
American Jewry and the Re-Invention of the East European Jewish Past by
The postwar decades were not the "golden era" in which American Jews easily partook in the religious revival, liberal consensus, and suburban middle-class comfort. Rather it was a period marked by restlessness and insecurity born of the shock about the Holocaust and of the unprecedented opportunities in American society. American Jews responded to loss and opportunity by obsessively engaging with the East European past. The proliferation of religious texts on traditional spirituality, translations of Yiddish literature, historical essays , photographs and documents of shtetl culture, theatrical and musical events, culminating in the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, illustrate the grip of this past on post-1945 American Jews. This study shows how American Jews reimagined their East European past to make it usable for their American present.
Feasting and Fasting by
How Judaism and food are intertwined Judaism is a religion that is enthusiastic about food. Jewish holidays are inevitably celebrated through eating particular foods, or around fasting and then eating particular foods. Through fasting, feasting, dining, and noshing, food infuses the rich traditions of Judaism into daily life. What do the complicated laws of kosher food mean to Jews? How does food in Jewish bellies shape the hearts and minds of Jews? What does the Jewish relationship with food teach us about Christianity, Islam, and religion itself? Can food shape the future of Judaism? Feasting and Fasting explores questions like these to offer an expansive look at how Judaism and food have been intertwined, both historically and today.
In 2010 approximately 15 percent of all new marriages in the United States were between spouses of different racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds, raising increasingly relevant questions regarding the multicultural identities of new spouses and their offspring. But while new census categories and a growing body of statistics provide data, they tell us little about the inner workings of day-to-day life for such couples and their children. JewAsian is a qualitative examination of the intersection of race, religion, and ethnicity in the increasing number of households that are Jewish American and Asian American.
Our People, Our Traditions
Three celebrated Americans who share not only a Jewish heritage but also a history of perseverance in the face of withering opposition. Tony Kushner delves into the history of the Holocaust to discover his ancestors' fate; Carole King discovers the origins of her family name and confronts the reality of the discrimination her ancestors faced once they arrived in America; and Alan Dershowitz discovers that the first Hassidic synagogue in Brooklyn, started by his great grandfather, played a secret role in World War II.
A short film about the enduring meaning of a beloved chocolate soda drink born on the Jewish Lower East Side. The egg cream contained neither eggs nor cream - it was a product of necessity and hardship, but a source of joy and sweetness. Through a tour of egg cream establishments led by a filmmaker and his young daughter, exhaustively researched archival imagery, and even a song by Lou Reed, the film examines the Jewish experience in America and the mythology of a simpler time.
My Coffee with Jewish Friends
A new film from veteran filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer is always a cause for celebration; with My Coffee, Kirchheimer uses a simple, humorous title as a screen to ask serious questions, from gender inequality to secularism to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, for a deeply thoughtful exploration of contemporary Jewish identity.
The Soap Myth
More than a half century after WW II at the desperate urging of a passionate survivor, a young investigative reporter finds herself caught between numerous versions of the same story. Played out against the backdrop of deadline reporting and journalistic integrity, the critically acclaimed The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen questions who has the right to write history--those people who have lived it and remember, those who study and protect it, or those who would seek to distort its very existence? And finally what is all our responsibility once we know the truth?
Makolet: A Middle Eastern Grocery in Brooklyn
This upbeat documentary depicts the social space of a kosher Middle Eastern grocery store in the traditionally Sephardic section of Brooklyn. Serving the local Syrian Jewish clientele, it has now also become a kind of social headquarters for expatriate Israelis as well as other Middle Eastern customers. Impromptu interviews with customers reveal their nostalgia for other places and times, as well as their ambivalence about life in America.