To the Golden Cities

To the Golden Cities

by Deborah Dash Moore

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The first great modern migration of Jewish people from the Old World to America has been often and expertly chronicled, but until now the second great wave of Jewish migration has been overlooked. After World War II, spurred by a postwar economic boom, American Jews sought new beginnings in the nation’s South and West. Thousands abandoned their previous homes in the urban, industrial centers of the North and moved to Miami and Los Angeles seeking warmth, opportunity, and ultimately a new Jewish community—one unlike any they had every known. This move turned out to be as significant as their ancestors’ departure from their traditional worlds.

Earlier Jewish immigrants to the New World had sought to fit into the well-established communities they found in the North, but Miami and LA were frontier towns with few rules for newcomers. Jews could establish new economic niches in the hotel and real estate industries, and build new schools, political organizations, and community centers to reshape the cities’ ethnic landscapes. Drawing upon rich and extensive research, historian Deborah Dash Moore traces the evolution of a new consensus on the boundaries of Jewish life and what it means to be Jewish.

Most American Jews have families or friends who have chosen to live in these urban paradises. Many others have visited or vacationed under their palm trees. Now the vibrant Jewish culture of these cities comes to life through Moore’s skillful weaving of individual voices, dreams, and accomplishments. To the Golden Cities is an epic saga of an essential moment in American Jewish history, the shaping of a new postwar Judaism for the second half of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439106075
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 03/14/1994
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 358
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Deborah Dash Moore is the Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of History at University of Michigan.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

1. On the Threshold

2. Entering Heaven

3. Permanent Tourists

4. Seeking Religious Roots

5. Spiritual Recreation

6. Politics in Paradise

7. Choosing Sides

8. Israel as Frontier

What People are Saying About This

Kenneth T. Jackson

Attracted by palm trees, bungalows, and sunshine as much as by economic opportunity, Jews flocked to the South and West by the tens of thousands after World War II. Once there, they transformed the golden cities as much as the golden cities transformed them. This beautifully written, colorful, and important book is their story, and no one could hae told it better than Deborah Dash Moore.

Howard M. Sachar

A richly textured, splendidly readable account of the migration of one of America's most protean minorities. This is social history at its best, and with it Moore emerges as one of this nation's finest social historians.

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