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94 SHOFAR Winter 1995 Vol. 13, No.2 Soviet Jews that, despite all, their destiny lies within the American Jewish community. Does. Markowitz prove her case for community or does she simply write an informative, well researched, well documented, lively book on SovietJewish emigres in New York City? The answer, at least insofar as this reviewer is concerned, is yes ... and no. The fact is, it depends on the definition of community. That Soviet Jews in America at the present time constitute a definable, recognizable community of shared history, memory, values, sentiment, attitudes seems incontestible after reading Markowitz. But if, as Markowitz herself asserts, "what makes community ... is the label and feeling of commonality of a particular ethnic group combined with its connections to a past and its aims for the future" -and if that future is seen to lie in absorption into the larger American Jewish community, how long will this community without institutions endure, no matter what the definition? On the other hand, there is the great attachment to things Russian, there is the Soviet Jewish presence "on the ground" (Russian neighborhoods, cemeteries with Russian colonies where the tombstones are engraved in Cyrillic) and there is the fact that this is a community that continues to be fed by immigrants. Markowitz leaves open the question of whether Soviet Jewish emigres will melt or not, as she must. For our part, we close the book with a much broader understanding of, and more important, perhaps, a greater connectedness to the Soviet Jews among us. A credit to Fran Markowitz. Mindy Avrich-Skapinker, Ph.D. Jewish Immigrant Aid Service Toronto, Ontario To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A., by Deborah Dash Moore. New York: Free Press, 1994. 358 pp. $22.95. The subject ofJewish migration has received a lot of attention by both scholars and interested lay people. However, the story has largely been about the Old World immigrants to America, the goldene country. Further, once the story focuses upon the Jewish presence in the New World, New York City becomes the primary site of analysis. Deborah Dash Moore has done us all a service by shifting attention to a new geographic area and a new time: post-World War Two Jewish migration to the "golden cities," as she calls them, of Miami and Los Angeles. Book Reviews 95 The period from 1945 to the early 1960s is the time period treated. Just as Americans generally moved West and South, so Jewish Americans, at times in greater proportion than their numbers would expect, migrated to warmer climes. Indeed, the weather was a major reason for the move. Chicago Jews who moved went to Los Angeles, while East CoastJews went to Miami, particularly Miami Beach. There are a number of interesting themes that Moore pursues as she relates the story of both the leaders and followers of the Jewish American communities in these new places. First, she argues that the generation that moved, second- and often third-generation Jewish Americans, created new adaptations, new ways of beingJewish in the new settings ofCalifornia and Florida. They did not simply bring their New York or Chicago religious, educational, and cultural Jewish institutions to their new locales. Rather, they shaped new institutions to meet their needs. Community centers, for example, took on new functions in the San Fernando Valley, assuming religious, cultural, social, and recreational roles. Indeed, the community centers' growth as an institution occurs all around the country in the post-war period. New circumstances, of course, confronted Jews, not only in their new places, but everywhere: the birth of the State of Israel became an extremely important event that awakened many Jews to their ethnic identity. It also provided a cause around which they could rally as Jews; their loyalty was awakened and their commitment renewed. Both communities also faced unwanted and unwelcome challenges in the years after World War Two: the anti-Communist witch hunt in southern California, beginning in 1947, hit the Jewish-American-Hollywood community very hard. There were members of the community on both sides of the issue. Producers such as Dore Schary and Walter Wanger were liberals who identified as...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 94-96
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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