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The Jewish American Family Album
     

The Jewish American Family Album

5.0 1
by Dorothy Hoobler, Thomas Hoobler, Mandy Patinkin (Introduction)
 

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As long ago as September 1654, 23 Jews disembarked from a ship named the Sainte Catherine into New Amsterdam—today's New York City. They came to find a safe haven from oppression and religious persecution and to seek economic opportunity. But even they were not the first Jewish Americans, and they were certainly not the last. Three million Jewish immigrants

Overview

As long ago as September 1654, 23 Jews disembarked from a ship named the Sainte Catherine into New Amsterdam—today's New York City. They came to find a safe haven from oppression and religious persecution and to seek economic opportunity. But even they were not the first Jewish Americans, and they were certainly not the last. Three million Jewish immigrants followed in the next three centuries. Today, about 4 out of every 10 Jews in the world are U. S. citizens.
The Jewish American Family Album tells personal stories of Jewish immigrants from their arrival in this country (as early as 1579) to the present day. Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler have found letters, diaries, and newspaper articles that describe what life was like in the old countries and tell of the difficulties encountered in leaving home for a new life in America. They have combed through family archives and scrapbooks to find personal accounts that make history as immediate and exciting as stories told generation after generation in any family.
In their own words, we learn what life was like for these millions of Jewish immigrants. We read of the earliest of the Jewish Americans, some of whom fought and died in the Revolution. We hear from Holocaust survivors and their children. We discover that from the beginning, Jewish Americans provided a base of support—lodging and fellowship—for those who followed. The part Jewish Americans played in the settlement of the American West, their strategic importance to the U.S. labor movement, and their many contributions to theater and music are documented with rare first-person accounts and extraordinary photographs. We hear of the challenges the immigrants faced, including anti-Semitism, even in the "Land of the Free." But Jewish Americans linked old traditions with new ones to build communities that have become a permanent and important part of American life.
The memories and experiences of well-known Jewish Americans such as comedians George Burns and Jack Benny, Oscar Solomon Straus (the first Jewish Presidential cabinet member), and novelist Edna Ferber are included, as are profiles of Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Leonard Bernstein, union leader Samuel Gompers, and poet Emma Lazarus, among others. But other Jewish Americans who did not achieve celebrity status are also represented. Moses Albert Levy, a doctor who joined Sam Houston's army, 13-year-old Mary Antin, who arrived in Boston in 1894, Sarah Thal, who was a homesteader in the Dakotas, and many more fascinating but unknown immigrants tell powerful, emotional, and sometimes funny stories of life in their new homeland.
These memories and profiles are illustrated with rare and moving photographs from news sources and family collections. They show in vivid fashion a people who have brought us humor, spirit, and perseverance. The Jewish American Family Album is an important tribute to the magnificent variety of people and cultures that makes up our United States.

The titles in the American Family Albums series tell the multicolored and often heroic stories of American immigrant groups, largely through their own words and pictures. Like any family album or scrapbook, the pages contain many period photographs and other memorabilia. These join with original documents—including selections from diaries, letters, memoirs, and newspapers—to bring the immigrant experience vividly to life.

Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book World
What makes this book unique for children is the quality of the carefully researched and varied historical information.
From the Publisher
"A handsome book that emphasizes the importance of family, continuity, and returning to one's roots. What makes this title unique is the high quality of the carefully researched and varied historical information and the Hooblers' judicious selection of primary-source excerpts.... The book's design contributes to ease of reading and comprehension. Milton Meltzer's The Jewish Americans...established the standard, but this volume surpasses it. Altogether a fascinating, quality choice."—School Library Journal

"Each American Jew should read these echoes of their American past."—Lifestyles

"This latest entry in the very well-received 'Family Album' series upholds the high standards of its predecessors: well-organized excerpts from primary sources about the experiences of immigrants to the United States, accompanied by clearly reproduced and informatively captioned photographs.... For its effective, inisghtful portrayal of the experiences of a very important group of immigrants, this book is highly recommended for school and public libraries."—MultiCultural Review

"Truly worth a visit."—Tomorrow's Morning

"Each American Jew should read these echoes of their American past."—Lifestyles

"This latest entry in the very well-received 'Family Album' series upholds the high standards of its predecessors: well-organized excerpts from primary sources about the experiences of immigrants to the United States, accompanied by clearly reproduced and informatively captioned photographs.... For its effective, inisghtful portrayal of the experiences of a very important group of immigrants, this book is highly recommended for school and public libraries."—MultiCultural Review

"Attractive and extremely useful.... The volume's many voices tell of the persecutions that motivated waves of immigration, the hardships of the journey, and the struggles and successes of life in America."—Kirkus Reviews

"A handsome book that emphasizes the importance of family, continuity, and returning to one's roots. What makes this title unique is the high quality of the carefully researched and varied historical information and the Hooblers' judicious selection of primary-source excerpts.... The book's design contributes to ease of reading and comprehension. Milton Meltzer's The Jewish Americans...established the standard, but this volume surpasses it. Altogether a fascinating, quality choice."—School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195081350
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
11/02/1995
Series:
American Family Albums Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
11.37(w) x 8.81(h) x 0.59(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler have published more than 50 books for children and adults. Their works have been honored by the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the Society of School Librarians International. They live in New York City.

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The Jewish American Family Album 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book filled with well-known and not so well-known Jewish Americans. What a wonderful experience it was to read about George Burns,Jack Benny, and Barbra Streisand, as well as about Oscar Solomon Straus (the first Jewish Presidential cabinet member of whom I had never heard), and to share them with my children. Being a member of a minority group can be difficult, especially for children. It is books like these can make make them proud, as well as to enable non-Jews to understand and appreciate the immigrant experience.