Abstract

This article traces out Jewish representations of actresses from the heyday of American Yiddish theatre to explore the role of the Yiddish actress in the gendered negotiation of American Jewish identities in the early twentieth century. I argue that Yiddish actresses functioned as role models and symbols of the ideal balance between modern America and "traditional" Jewishness for the American Jewish immigrant community. The negative stereotypes of Yiddish actresses that did emerge reveal the immigrant community's anxieties about not achieving this balance either by being unable to acculturate, or by losing one's connection to Jewishness.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 84-107
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-03
Open Access
No
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