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American Jewish Identity Politics

Deborah Dash Moore, editor

Publication Year: 2008

Displays the full range of informed, thoughtful opinion on the place of Jews in the American politics of identity. ---David A. Hollinger, Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History, University of California, Berkeley "A fascinating anthology whose essays crystallize the most salient features of American Jewish life in the second half of the twentieth century." ---Beth S. Wenger, Katz Family Associate Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program, University of Pennsylvania Written by scholars who grew up after World War II and the Holocaust who participated in political struggles in the 1960s and 1970s and who articulated many of the formative concepts of modern Jewish studies, this anthology provides a window into an era of social change. These men and women are among the leading scholars of Jewish history, society and culture. The volume is organized around contested themes in American Jewish life: the Holocaust and World War II, religious pluralism and authenticity, intermarriage and Jewish continuity. Thus, it offers one of the few opportunities for students to learn about these debates from participant scholars. Contributors: Hasia R. Diner Arnold M. Eisen Sylvia Barack Fishman Arthur Green Jeffrey Gurock Paula E. Hyman Egon Mayer Alvin H. Rosenfeld Jonathan D. Sarna Stephen J. Whitfield Deborah Dash Moore is Director of the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies and Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-20

Identity politics exploded in the United States in the 1970s. Awakened by student activists in the civil rights movement and the New Left, the politics of identity responded to the rise of black power. Feminism’s insight that the personal is political...

The Politics of Holocaust Identity

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When Jews Were GIs: How World War II Changed a Generation and Remade American Jewry

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pp. 23-44

It is a commonly accepted, if rarely explored, truism that World War II marked a turning point for American Jews. Everyone knows that after the war American Jews moved to the suburbs, entered the professions, achieved a secure middle-class...

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The Americanization of the Holocaust

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pp. 45-82

Sixty years after the end of World War II, how do we look back upon and understand that catastrophic event? In particular, what do we make of the almost total devastation of European Jewry brought on by Hitler and his collaborators?...

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Before “The Holocaust”: American Jews Confront Catastrophe, 1945–62

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pp. 83-116

In the decade and a half following the end of World War II, that global con›agration which brought about the death of one-third of the Jewish people and the destruction of much of European Jewish communal life, American Jewry found many...

Religious Identities in Public and Private

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Rethinking American Judaism

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pp. 119-138

My aim in this essay is to report on research conducted, and on re›ection undertaken, in the course of three related projects, research, and re›ection that have thus far resulted in several publications but have not, until now, yielded a synthesis intended...

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American Judaism in Historical Perspective / Jonathan D. Sarna

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pp. 139-158

Thirty years ago, when I ‹rst became interested in American Jewish history, I mentioned my interest to a scholar at a distinguished rabbinical seminary, and he was absolutely appalled. “American Jewish history?” he growled. “I’ll tell you all that you...

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From Fluidity to Rigidity: The Religious Worlds of Conservative and Orthodox Jews in Twentieth-Century America

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pp. 159-206

By the close of the century, it had become clear that most Conservative and Orthodox Jews in America were living increasingly within two very different religious worlds. More than any other time in their history in this country, the minority...

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New Directions in Jewish Theology in America

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pp. 207-217

Theology has not been the creative forte of the Jewish people throughout most of the last century. We have been too busily engaged in the process of surviving to have had the energy to devote to sustained religious re›ection. We have struggled to find...

Identity Politics

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Jewish Feminism Faces the American Women’s Movement: Convergence and Divergence

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pp. 221-242

The Jewish feminist movement has transformed the public space of American Jewry. Distinct from American feminism, the “Jewish feminist movement” does not consist of the totality of women of Jewish origin who are active in American feminism....

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The Paradoxes of American Jewish Culture

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pp. 243-266

Perhaps no fin de si

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A Demographic Revolution in American Jewry

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pp. 267-300

In his erudite and entertaining pro‹le of Jewish elites in England from the mid-seventeenth century to the prewar decades of the twentieth, Todd Endelman illustrates an apparently inexorable process in the Jewish encounter with tolerant Christian..

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Relatively Speaking: Constructing Identity in Jewish and Mixed-Married Families

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pp. 301-319

Concepts such as ethnicity and religious difference, which once seemed determining and solidly significant factors in people’s lives, are today “a matter not of essence but of choices,” a voluntary and perhaps even an “artificial”...


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pp. 321-322


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pp. 323-336

E-ISBN-13: 9780472024643
E-ISBN-10: 0472024647
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472032884
Print-ISBN-10: 0472032887

Page Count: 344
Illustrations: 11 B&W photographs and tables
Publication Year: 2008

OCLC Number: 647846456
MUSE Marc Record: Download for American Jewish Identity Politics

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Judaism -- United States.
  • Jews -- United States -- Identity.
  • Jews -- United States -- Cultural assimilation.
  • Jews -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • Jews -- United States -- History -- 21st century.
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