Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Foreword

David G. Roskies

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pp. xiii-xviii

Children are discerning consumers. They know that what is free is not the same as what must be paid for out of one’s own allowance. I had the good fortune to attend a secular Jewish day school in Montreal, where from sixth grade on we received three monthly magazines for children free of charge: Kinder zhurnal (Children’s journal) in Yiddish, World Over in English...

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Preface

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pp. xix-xxii

In the first half of the twentieth century, Eastern European Jewish immigrants created and published children’s literature in Yiddish for their sons and daughters growing up in America. Yiddish fiction for children first appeared in the Yiddish children’s periodicals of the four major Yiddish school networks that emerged in this period—the Labor Zionist Farband, the secular...

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Acknowledgments

The Kadar family

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pp. xxiii-xxviii

It is impossible to research and write a dissertation without a broad network of support, assistance, and encouragement. It is a special pleasure to have the opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to those who offered their academic expertise, their penetrating insights, their time, and their generosity of spirit throughout this project....

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1 | The Rise of Secular Yiddish Schools

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pp. 1-23

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, waves of Yiddish-speaking Eastern European immigrants to America were catapulted into the reality of being a cultural minority in a free and pluralistic society. Their desire to preserve and propagate the culture they brought with them, for themselves and their children, was coupled with the need to learn...

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2 | Children’s Magazines: From Cover to Cover

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pp. 24-57

The emergence of each of the major secular Yiddish school networks in the United States (Farband, Sholem Aleichem, Workmen’s Circle, and the Ordn schools) was accompanied by the publication of its own children’s magazine. This chapter provides an introduction to these magazines and their respective philosophies as expressed by their...

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3 | Farband’s Kindervelt: Living in Two Cultures

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pp. 58-79

In 1917 Yoyel Entin created the children’s journal Di yidishe kindervelt (The Jewish children’s world) as a component of the new secular Jewish school movement called di naye yidishe dertsiung (the new Jewish education). Nowhere before had there been a school system or a magazine that took on the task of providing a clear link between the American children of immigrants...

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4 | The Sholem Aleichem Schools’ Kinder zhurnal: Yiddish for the American Child

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pp. 80-105

An overview of the Kinder zhurnal from its inaugural issue until the years after World War II demonstrates that it is very much a mirror of the diverse periods in the evolution and acculturation of the secular Yiddish-speaking Jewish community in America. Its sensitivity to historical vicissitudes and its implicit reactions to events, both in the Jewish world and in the world...

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5 | The Workmen’s Circle’s Kinder tsaytung: A More Beautiful and Better World

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pp. 106-128

“A shenere un a besere velt” (A more beautiful and a better world), the motto of the Workmen’s Circle, aptly describes its purpose. Known in Yiddish as the Arbeter Ring, it was founded in 1900 as a Jewish labor fraternal organization to ameliorate the lives of Jewish workers. Initially offering health and death benefits, as well as cemetery plots, the Workmen’s Circle created...

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6 | The Ordn Schools’ Yungvarg: A Progressive Jewish Education

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pp. 129-155

“The split in the Socialist ranks was very powerful, and harmful, and it was about attitudes to the Soviet Union,” reflects Itche Goldberg, commenting on the conflict between the Workmen’s Circle’s central leadership and its left-wing faction that led to the ouster of its Communist members and eventually the birth of the IWO and the Ordn schools. Looking back at his...

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7 | Writing the Holocaust for Children

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pp. 156-176

In 1941, Yudl Mark began to publish Der pedagogisher buletin (The pedagogic bulletin), a forum for the teachers in the Yiddish secular schools. Mark’s February 1943 editorial lends insight into the way in which the teachers were guided to approach the daunting subject of the Holocaust. Mark believed that the children should not be sheltered from the brutality...

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8 | The Child Hero and the Uses of Fantasy

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pp. 177-198

Jewish storytelling in many genres (including moralizing tales, fairy tales, magic tales, trickster tales, and legends) was a pervasive feature of everyday life of Eastern European Jews for many generations.1 However, the first modern story written for children in Yiddish is generally considered to be “Dos meserl” (The penknife), by Sholem Aleichem—a story he originally...

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9 | Folklore and Jewish Folk Heroes

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pp. 199-219

The Yiddish secular schools arose not only in reaction to the specter of acculturation and assimilation that life in America brought, but also as an opportunity for educators to transmit a valued folk heritage to the younger generation. Purposely distanced from specifically religious sources, the ideologues of the Yiddish secular schools in America recognized the creative...

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10 | Almost at Home in America

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pp. 220-236

As the war raged in Europe, decimating the Jewish population in the heartland of Yiddish culture, American Jews were feeling a new sense of belonging in America, expressed through support and identification with the war effort as Americans and Jews. From the late 1930s to the end of World War II, more acculturated images of Jewish life in America appear...

Notes

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pp. 237-248

Bibliography

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pp. 249-264

Selected Biographies: Educators, Writers, and Artists in Children’s Yiddish Magazines

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pp. 265-272

Index

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pp. 273-283

About the Author

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p. 284

Color Plates

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