The Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America

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This is the first anthology in more than half a century to offer fresh insight into the history of Jews and Judaism in America. Beginning with six chronological survey essays, the collection builds with twelve topical essays focusing on a variety of important themes in the American Jewish and Judaic experience.

The volume opens with early Jewish settlers (1654-1820), the expansion of Jewish life in America (1820-1901), the great wave of eastern European Jewish immigrants (1880-1924), the character of American Judaism between the two world wars, American Jewish life from the end of World War II to the Six-Day War, and the growth of Jews' influence and affluence. The second half of the book includes essays on the community of Orthodox Jews, the history of Jewish education in America, the rise of Jewish social clubs at the turn of the century, the history of southern and western Jewry, Jewish responses to Nazism and the Holocaust; feminism's confrontation with Judaism, and the eternal question of what defines American Jewish culture.

The contributions of distinguished scholars seamlessly integrate recent scholarship. Endnotes provide the reader with access to the authors' research and sources. Comprehensive, original, and elegantly crafted, The Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America not only introduces the student to this thrilling history but also provides new perspectives for the scholar.

Contributors: Dianne Ashton (Rowan University), Mark K. Bauman (Atlanta Metropolitan College), Kimmy Caplan (Bar-Ilan University, Israel), Eli Faber (City University of New York), Eric L. Goldstein (University of Michigan), Jeffrey S. Gurock (Yeshiva University), Jenna Weissman Joselit (Princeton University), Melissa Klapper (Rowan University), Alan T. Levenson (Siegal College of Judaic Studies), Rafael Medoff (David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies), Pamela S. Nadell (American University), Riv-Ellen Prell (University of Minnesota), Linda S. Raphael (George Washington University), Jeffrey Shandler (Rutgers University), Michael E. Staub (City University of New York), William Toll (University of Oregon), Beth S. Wenger (University of Pennsylvania), Stephen J. Whitfield (Brandeis University)

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

American Reference Books Annual - Simon J. Bronner
A thought-provoking... engaging text that gives social diversity and cultural experience their due in Jewish studies.
Historian - Rachelle E. Friedman
This book provides a nuanced look at a number of different facets of Jewish life in America.
Authored by an all-star cast of historians.... Highly recommended.
American Jewish History
Indeed, the strength of this anthology resides in the individual essays, even if some of them make awkward bedfellows.

— Lila Corwin Berman

The Historian
[A] welcome addition to the field of Jewish-American studies

Authored by an all-star cast of historians.... Highly recommended.

American Reference Books Annual
A thought-provoking... engaging text that gives social diversity and cultural experience their due in Jewish studies.

— Simon J. Bronner

Jewish Book World
[An] impressive range and focus.
This book provides a nuanced look at a number of different facets of Jewish life in America.

— Rachelle E. Friedman

American Jewish History - Lila Corwin Berman
Indeed, the strength of this anthology resides in the individual essays, even if some of them make awkward bedfellows.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231132220
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/5/2008
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Lee Raphael is the Nathan and Sophia Gumenick Professor of Judaic Studies, professor of religious studies, chairman of the Department of Religious Studies, and director of the Program in Judaic Studies at the College of William and Mary. He will publish his memoir, Diary of a Los Angeles Jew, 1947-1972: Autobiography as Autofiction, in 2008 and is beginning a history of the synagogue in America for New York University Press. He and his wife, Linda Schermer Raphael, live in Washington, D.C.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction   Marc Lee Raphael     1
Chronological Essays
America's Earliest Jewish Settlers, 1654-1820   Eli Faber     21
Expanding Jewish Life in America, 1826-1901   Dianne Ashton     47
The Great Wave: Eastern European Jewish Immigration to the United States, 1880-1924   Eric L. Goldstein     70
American Judaism Between the Two World Wars   Jeffrey S. Gurock     93
Triumph, Accommodation, and Resistance: American Jewish Life from the End of World War II to the Six-Day War   Riv-Ellen Prell     114
Influence and Affluence, 1967-2000   Stephen J. Whitfield     142
Topical Essays
The Ever Dying Denomination: American Jewish Orthodoxy, 1824-1965   Kimmy Caplan     167
The History of Jewish Education in America, 1700-2000   Melissa R. Klapper     189
A Regional Context for Pacific Jewry, 1880-1930   William Toll     217
Fun and Games: The American Jewish Social Club   Jenna Weissman Joselit     246
A Multithematic Approach to Southern Jewish History   Mark K. Bauman     263
American Jewish Responses to Nazism and the Holocaust   Rafael Medoff     291
Holocaust Consciousness and American Jewish Politics   Michael E.Staub     313
What Is American Jewish Culture?   Jeffrey Shandler     337
Rites of Citizenship: Jewish Celebrations of the Nation   Beth S. Wenger     366
A Bright New Constellation: Feminism and American Judaism   Pamela S. Nadell     385
Contemporary Jewish Thought   Alan T. Levenson     406
There's No Space Like Home: The Representation of Jewish American Life   Linda S. Raphael     433
Contributors     459
Index     463
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