The Jews of New Jersey: A Pictorial History

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Overview

Jews have called New Jersey home since the late seventeenth century, and they currently make up almost 6 percent of the states residents. Yet, until now, no book has paid tribute to the richness of Jewish heritage in the Garden State. The Jews of New Jersey: A Pictorial History redresses this lack with a lively narrative and hundreds of archival and family photographsmany rarethat bring this history to life.

Patricia Ard and Michael Rockland focus on representative Jewish communities throughout the state, paying particular attention to the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. Through the joys and struggles of homemakers, storekeepers, factory workers, athletes, children, farmers, activists, religious leaders, and Holocaust survivors, the authors tell the stories of how these communities have evolved, thrived, and changed. They note the difficulties posed by intermarriage and assimilation and, at the same time, depict a burgeoning revival of Jewish orthodoxy and traditions.

The Jews of New Jersey will please both the historian and general reader. Its heartwarming stories and pictures truly make the point that it is through the joys, triumphs, and defeats of everyday people that history is made.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times

A sort of photo album. Ard and Rockland focus mainly on storekeepers, farmers, children, homemakers and factory workers. There are wonderful photos of WeingartenÆs Corset Factory in Newark, for example, and of Fanny Dubnik with chicks at her poultry farm in Farmingdale.
Suburban News

Offers the reader a glimpse into the rich culture and history of New Jersey Jewish community. . . . Attention is given to ordinary people in these communities who share stories of their joy and triumphs.
Forward

In this book, the authors tell a familiar American Jewish tale of poor immigrants establishing themselves in the crowded cores of American cities (in this case Newark, Camden and Paterson) before striking out for the suburbs. There are stories of retail triumphs and labor struggles, but there are also more unusual tales with a surprisingly utopian theme. Of the 40 Jewish agricultural settlements founded in North America . . . about 30 were in New Jersey. . . . The dozens of photographs are a marvelous family album of scrubbed children, proud grocers and stiff-backed soldiers. There isnÆt a turnpike exit in sight.
New Jersey Monthly

Presents little-known but comprehensive histories of the stateÆs Jewish communities.
Trenton Times

This is a picture book that provides sketches of various aspects of Jewish life before Jews became more like the rest of America. . . . Readers should find The Jews of New Jersey both entertaining and informative.
Home News Tribune

Ard and Rockland. . . elected to tell this story through the experiences of ordinary people and to eschew the frequently pandering practice of concentrating on highly successful and visible Jews. . . .And one pores over the scores of photographsùmany of them from the 19th and early 20th centuriesùstudying the faces, the clothing and the details of grocery stores and factories. . . . This volume is a previously unheard-of effort to chronicle the Jewish experience in a crossroads state. . . . . And the pictures are haunting and charming and, by themselves, worth a look.
Record

Two New Jersey professors have collected hundreds of pictures and stories from these immigrants and their descendants. . . . The book chronicles the assimilation of the immigrants, who modified old traditions to fit the American circumstance. As education and acculturation increased, Jews became increasingly active in New JerseyÆs social and political life.
Rutgers Focus

The bookÆs photographs will walk readers through the early Jewish communities of major New Jersey cities and suburbs. Whether they were nurses caring for infants at Beth Israel Hospital in Newark; silk workers at their looms in Paterson; bakers making challahs in Trenton; farmers raising chickens in Monmouth county; garment workers sewing in Roosevelt . . . Jews contributed enormously to the life of the state. . . . But perhaps what moved Ard and Rockland the most while creating the book are the family bonds that last through time and continue to form and strengthen the Jewish people.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813530123
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 Immigration and Early Jewish Settlers 1
Ch. 2 Newark: A Community Flourishes 9
Ch. 3 Paterson, Trenton, and Camden 25
Ch. 4 To The Suburbs: The New Jersey Jewish Diaspora 47
Ch. 5 Jews on the Farm 59
Ch. 6 Roosevelt 76
Ch. 7 Jews at the Shore 82
Ch. 8 Celebration and Education 90
Ch. 9 Anti-Semitism: The Snake in the Garden State 104
Ch. 10 The Holocaust and Its Aftermath in New Jersey 111
Ch. 11 The Continuity of New Jersey Jewish Life 137
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