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Book Notes Book Notes 157 Annotations written by Dean Bell of Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies are identified by the initials D.E. American Jewish Life From Immigrant to Ethnic Culture: American Yiddish in South Philadelphia, by Rakhrniel Peltz. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997. 269 pp. $49.50. ISBN 0-8047-3020-2. This book provides a look at ethnic culture in the contemporary United States through an ethnographic account of everyday life in the Jewish community of South Philadelphia. The work highlights the role oflanguage in collective memory. The residents' use of Yiddish and their warm attitude toward the language illuminate their changing and overlapping identifications with the neighborhood, their non-Jewish neighbors, Jewish traditions and religion, and their children and parents. Jewish Continuity in America: Creative Survival in a Free Society, by Abraham 1. Karp. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1998. 264 pp. $29.95 (c). ISBN 0-81730923 -3. In the United States, the Je~ish community has faced the enduring question of identity and assimilation: How does the Jewish community in this free, open, pluralistic society discover or create factors-both ideological and existential-that make group survival beneficial to the larger society and rewarding to the individual Jew? This volume focuses on the three major sources of American Judaism's continuing vitality: the synagogue, the rabbinate, and Jewish religious pluralism. The author examines the coexistence and unity-in-diversity of American religious Jewry's three divisions-Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative-and how this Jewish religious pluralism fits into the larger picture of American religious pluralism. Jews Against Prejudice: American Jews and the Fight for Civil Liberties, by Stuart Svonkin. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. 247 pp. $32.50 (c). ISBN 0231 -10638-6. In the 1940s and 1950s, American Jewish organizations fought for equality in the face of persistent discrimination and attempted to preserve liberty in a time of political repression. In this book, Stuart Svonkin delves into the archival records of America's three major Jewish defense groups-the American Jewish Commit- 158 SHOFAR Summer 1999 Vol. 17, No.4 tee, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, and the American Jewish .Congress-to offer an account of organized Jewish political activism against bigotry and for human rights. The Provincials: A Personal History ofJews in the South, by Eli N. Evans. New York: Free Press, 1997. 416 pp. $16.00. ISBN 0-684-83412-X. This reissue includes a new introduction and five new chapters by the author. Evans intertwines his autobiography of growing up Jewish in the Bible belt with , the stories of communities, individuals, and events. Synagogue Life: A Study in Symbolic Interaction, by Samuel C. Heilman. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1998. 320 pp. $24.95. ISBN 0-7658-0433-6. This book analyzes the three dimensions of synagogue life: the houses of prayer, study, and assembly. In each Samuel Heilman documents the details of the synagogue experience while articulating the social and cultural drama inherent in them. He illustrates how people come to the synagogue not only for spiritual purposes but also to find out where and how they fit into life in the neighborhood in which they share. Ancient World and Archaeology The Jews of Egypt from Rameses II to Emperor Hadrian, by Joseph M6leze Modrzejewski, translated by Robert Cornman, preface by Shaye J. D. Cohen. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997. ~79 pp. $18.95 (p). ISBN 0-69101575 -9. Hellenistic Egypt was the setting for perhaps the first Jewish Golden Age, a time "golden" in Jewish memory as an era of vibrant cultural interaction between the Jews and their gentile hosts. Biblical accounts and Jewish and pagan literary texts are juxtaposed with discoveries of a century of archaeological and papyro1ogical research. Art, Music, and Film Dreams ofSubversion in Medieval Jewish Art and Literature, by Marc Michael Epstein. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 1998. 184 pp. $40.00. ISBN 0-27101605 -1. Europe's Jewish minority culture during the medieval period was subjected to a barrage ofpublic images proclaiming the dominance ofthe Christian majority. This book explores the Jewish response to this assault in the development of a visual culture through which...


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