The Renaissance Of Jewish Culture In Weimar Germany / Edition 1

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Overview

Although Jewish participation in German society increased after World War I, Jews did not completely assimilate into that society. In fact, says Michael Brenner in this intriguing book, the Jewish population of Weimar Germany became more aware of its Jewishness and created new forms of German-Jewish culture in literature, music, fine arts, education, and scholarship. Brenner presents the first in-depth study of this culture, drawing a fascinating portrait of people in the midst of redefining themselves.

The Weimar Jews chose neither a radical break with the past nor a return to the past but instead dressed Jewish traditions in the garb of modern forms of cultural expression. Brenner describes, for example, how modern translations made classic Jewish texts accessible, Jewish museums displayed ceremonial artifacts in a secular framework, musical arrangements transformed synagogue liturgy for concert audiences, and popular novels recalled aspects of the Jewish past. Brenner's work, while bringing this significant historical period to life, illuminates contemporary Jewish issues. The preservation and even enhancement of Jewish distinctiveness, combined with the seemingly successful participation of Jews in a secular, non-Jewish society, offer fresh insight into modern questions of Jewish existence, identity, and integration into other cultures.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Rather than assimilate into mainstream German society, says Brenner (modern Jewish history, Brandeis U.) many Jews after World War I became more aware of their Jewishness and dressed Jewish traditions in modern garb to create new forms in literature, music, fine arts, education, and scholarship. He documents how classics were translated, ceremonial artifacts displayed, synagogue liturgy arranged for concert audiences, and the Jewish past recalled in novels. Lightly illustrated. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300077209
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Pre-Weimar Origins 11
2 Gemeinschaft and Gemeinde: The Ideological and Institutional Transformation of the Jewish Community 36
3 A New Learning: The Lehrhaus Movement 69
4 Toward a Synthetic Scholarship: The Popularization of Wissenschaft des Judentums 100
5 The Invention of the Authentic Jew: German-Jewish Literature 129
6 Authenticity and Modernism Combined: Music and the Visual Arts 153
7 Authenticity Revisited: Jewish Culture in Jewish Languages 185
Epilogue 213
List of Abbreviations 221
Notes 223
Bibliography 261
Index 289
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