We are honored to take over the helm of American Jewish History, continuing a long line of distinguished editors who have come before us. We want to thank the Executive Committee of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society for entrusting the journal to us for the next five years. The prospect of seeking out and helping to develop the newest, most exciting work in our field thrills all three of us.
As we begin our tenure at the journal, we look forward to continuing some of the innovations of earlier editors, including special guest-edited thematic volumes, review essays, and explorations of classic texts. We also look forward to introducing some new features of our own. One such feature will begin this year. We will periodically publish state-of-the-field essays that provide historiographic overviews on the genesis and development of work on a chosen subject; analyze the major debates, questions, and trends within current scholarship; and map out potential areas for future research. One of our chief goals is to introduce non-specialists—particularly graduate students and those who work in other subfields—to topics and themes with which they are unfamiliar.
We also hope to incorporate more scholarship from outside the immediate field, encouraging work that considers sociological, anthropological, and literary perspectives on the American Jewish past. A broader definition of the Americas too, from Canada to Argentina, will situate the field more fully within discussions of transnational Jewish experiences, and highlight how American Jews engaged with a wider world.
This first issue has given us a chance to introduce yet another new feature we are hoping to make a more established part of the journal: an enhanced digital presence. Please watch the journal in the years ahead for interviews, images, and teaching tools posted online that we hope will augment your experience of reading articles in American Jewish History.
We are indebted to our immediate predecessor, Dianne Ashton, who has worked hard these past 5 years to maintain the journal's high standards and has helped us tremendously in making the transition to become editors. Her hard work is evident in this issue: a transition issue between her editorial era and our own. This issue, a fascinating exploration of material culture, exemplifies how the journal can successfully bring new methodological trends to the attention of the field.
We look forward to recruiting the best up-and-coming talent in the field, while also encouraging established scholars to continue publishing their best work in AJH. [End Page vii]