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Book Reviews 175 on the one hand and ideological declarations on the other, thus turning a conversation, which on the surface looked so innocent, into an understanding of the writer's place in the spiritual world ofhis time. As, an example we quote here this dialogue from the interview with Appelfeld: - Joseph Cohen: Do you know Canetti's work? - . Aharon Appelfeld: Ofcourse, I'm familiar with Canetti. He belongs to my "family." I don't know why he isn't better known. To me, he is the most universal writer among the Jews who lived in central Europe prior to the Holocaust. (p. 133) This book opens a window on Hebrew literature for the Englishspeaking reader and may enrich him both with knowledge and with understanding. Zvi Malachi .Haberman Institute for literary Research Lod, Israel. Hebrew in America: Perspectives and Prospects, edited by Alan Mintz. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1993. 337 pp. $24.95. The volume comprises fifteen articles (most of which originated as papers read at a 1990 conference at the University of Maryland), an introduction (by the editor), an afterword, and an index. The articles are equally divided into three sections, "The Enterprise of Tarbut Ivrit," "Hebrew on the Campus and Beyond," and "Hebrew in the Future of AmericanJewish Culture." The central themes are Hebrew in America past, evaluation of the state of Hebrew in America today, and prospects and proposals for the future. Although the focus is on Hebrew, the language is considered within the context ofJewish studies in general. For the average reader, the most fascinating articles would be those discussing the attempt to create a Hebrew culture in America between the two world wars-an eriterprise of which even the majority of today's Hebraists know very little. Alan Mintz's article on the beginnings of the Hebrew movement in America as reflected in the journal Hat6ren and in the founding of the Histadrut Ivrit, tells of a brave attempt to replace religion (and at the same time present an alternative to political radicalism) through Hebrew and Hebrew literature-mostly poetry and to a lesser extent prose; of how the Eastern European model (notably Bialik in poetry 176 SHOFAR Winter 1996 Vol. 14, NO.2 and ShalomAleychem throl,Jgh Berkovitz' translation in prose) predominated until some poets and authors managed to break through and form their own creative identity reflecting the American scene-a process elaborated upon in Ezra Spicehandler's "Ameriqa'iyut in American Hebrew literature ." Walter Ackerman discusses the role the Hebrew Teachers Colleges and the Hebrew-speaking camps were intended to play in disseminating Hebrew culture in the United States, and asserts that they cannot be faulted for "the failure to achieve a broad-based and lasting Hebraism in this country" (p. 125), a failure essentially due to the acculturation of the Jews in America. Most of the other articles in this volume describe Hebrew culture's inability to become part and parcel of the Jewish American experience and analyze the reasons for it; the explanations tend to center on Americanization on the one hand, and the flowering of a vibrant Hebrew culture in Palestinellsrael on the other. Much of this discussion is not new for the majority of readers, which makes Mintz's discussion of the unfamiliar phase of Tarbut Ivrit in America stand out in the interest it arouses. The same is true of Arnold Band's brilliant historical review of Hebrew in the American university, in which he distinguishes seven models for Hebrew studies, presented chronologically in a most coherent fashion: Divinity School Hebrew, Semitic Philology Hebrew, Americanized Wissenschaft Hebrew, Tarbut Ivrit Hebrew, Area Studies Hebrew, Jewish Studies Hebrew, and Israeli Hebrew. Band is (unfortunately) also the only contributor to discuss the role of non-Jews in the introduction of Hebrew culture in America. Also standing out, in analyzing the current state of Hebrew studies in America and suggesting specific improvements, are the articles by Morahg, Glinert, and Raphaeli (and to some extent Jacobson). Gilead Morahg's point (as expressed in the article's title) is that "language Is Not Enough." At least one student survey'shows that students' motivation covers many aspects of Hebrewllsraeli culture and Jewish...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 175-177
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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