Since their arrival on these shores over 350 years ago, American Jews who have wished to maintain a Jewish communal life have faced a set of novel challenges. Throughout their history in the U.S., Jews have been free to embrace or eschew communal involvement; to support or ignore Jewish institutions; to associate with other Jews or to distance themselves from coreligionists. The dispersal of Jews across so vast a country has also posed serious challenges to Jewish unity. For these and other reasons examined in this volume, the group existence of Jews in the U.S. has depended on a variety of creative efforts to develop and sustain communities in the face of powerful pressures to disperse and assimilate.This volume explores the multiple conceptions of community in the American Jewish imagination. Essays by leading scholars working in the fields of history, ethnography, material culture, literary criticism and Jewish thought uncover the underlying assumptions of those who continually re-defined the Jewish community from colonial times to the present day.
Topics include the notion of "synagogue-community" in pre-revolutionary America, the role of commerce and business in nineteenth-century communal life, trans-nationalism and Jewish immigration, suburbanization, Jewish patriotism in wartime, sports and board games, Jewish literary classics, Jewish mothers, feminism, Yiddish schools, Jewish museums, and the communal possibilities of the internet.
Publisher: University Press of New England
Number of pages: 392
Weight: 549 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 26 mm