Jewhooing the Sixties
American Celebrity and Jewish Identity—Sandy Koufax, Lenny Bruce, Bob Dylan, and Barbra Streisand
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Brandeis University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Some of my colleagues in the field of American Jewish history will no doubt be surprised by the subject of this, my second book. My first (Shul with a Pool: The “Synagogue-Center” in American Jewish History, 1999) was a history of American synagogues, Jewish schools, and community...
1. Introduction: Jews, Celebrity, and the Early 1960s
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This is a book full of lists, and at the most basic level is itself a list—of four famous Jews. It thus exemplifies the very phenomenon it describes: our constant inventorying of, and enduring fascination with, Jewish celebrity. The naming and claiming of famous...
2. Sandy Koufax: Super Jew
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It was a terrific line, garnering both laughter and applause—as did the joke the president then added: “Sandy and I actually have something in common—we are both lefties. He can’t pitch on Yom Kippur; I can’t pitch.” Without doubt, all assembled understood the reference to...
3. Lenny Bruce: Dirty Jew
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To the best of our knowledge, Lenny Bruce never once skipped a club date to observe Yom Kippur. Yet much like Sandy Koufax, the comedian is remembered by fellow Jews for a particular aspect of his storied career: one of his standup routines, “Jewish and Goyish,” is cited...
4. Bob Dylan: Wandering Jew
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Bob Dylan, like Lenny Bruce before him, is an icon of Jewish iconoclasm. Both were pathbreaking artists of the early 1960s who had the chutzpah to perform their own words and express their innermost thoughts—until then a rarity in American entertainment—and both...
5. Barbara Streisand: Hollywood Jew
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Barbra Streisand’s meteoric rise to fame during the early 1960s directly paralleled Dylan’s and took place in the very same setting—New York City’s Greenwich Village. Just one year younger than Dylan, the eighteen-year-old Streisand had been living in the city for well over a year...
6. Epilogue: Jewhooing into the Twenty-first Century
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Jewish celebrity begets Jewhooing. Hence each of the preceding chapters began with a brief history of the early 1960s rise of our four famous American Jews—Sandy Koufax, Lenny Bruce, Bob Dylan, and Barbra Streisand—and then concluded by surveying the Jewhooing of their celebrity...
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Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 24 illus.
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life